what's he have on

rafanadal

Senior Member
Italian
Is the question "What's he have on?" an informal way to ask
"What the hell is he wearing"?
If not, what is another way to ask it? Especially, if the person in question looks what the cat dragged in.
"What state is he in?"
"What did he get up in?
"What the hell did he put on?"
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    What does he have on? is what I would say -- with very slight pauses between each word, and the "does" adds emphasis. What is he wearing? also works.
     

    Elwintee

    Senior Member
    England English
    Is the question "What's he have on?" :cross:an informal way to ask
    "What the hell is he wearing"? :tick:
    If not, what is another way to ask it? Especially, if the person in question looks what the cat dragged in.
    "What state is he in?"
    "What did he get up in?
    "What the hell did he put on?"
    First, a correction: "What's he have on?" is ungrammatical (it equals "What is he have on?"). It should be: "What does he have on?" This would be idiomatic if used with emphasis on the 'does' - but sounds feminine.
    All your wording is otherwise understandable, but not idiomatic.
    Men and woman have different ways of saying the same thing. A man might indeed say "What the hell is he wearing?" or "What a get-up!" (perhaps this last is just British English usage). A woman might say "What is he wearing?" (with derogatory emphasis), or "What on earth is he wearing?"
    "What state is he in?" sounds odd, and would refer to his emotions, not his appearance.
    "What did he get up in?" means "What clothes did he put on as soon as he got out of bed?"
    Hope this helps!
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    First, a correction: "What's he have on?" is ungrammatical (it equals "What is he have on?"). It should be: "What does he have on?" This would be idiomatic if used with emphasis on the 'does' - but sounds feminine.
    I'm accustomed to apostrophe-s meaning "does" in some instances: What's it matter? What's it mean?

    So I looked up Wikipedia on Apostrophe and found this at #42:
    ^ In reports of very informal speech 's may sometimes represent does: "Where's that come from?"

    I think we can consider the original question pretty informal speech. :)
     
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