I heard someone on a TV show say:

What's it all mean?

As far as I know, 's could be the short form of has and is. But in this case, it seems more like to be the short form of does. Am I correct?

2 Answers 2


As the chart of English contractions on Wikipedia points out, 's can be used in place of does (as well as is, has, was and as).

It can also be used to represent the entirely unrelated us, as in let's.

  • Just out of curiosity, could you give me an example in which as has been contracted?
    – B Faley
    Dec 16, 2011 at 8:50
  • 3
    @Meysam got one: We left early, so's not to be late.
    – user13141
    Dec 16, 2011 at 9:00
  • 1
    @Meysam: The non-standard 'That's as maybe' (meaning 'perhaps') can be contracted to 'that's's maybe' - although it would be rarely written other than as dialogue. Dec 16, 2011 at 9:03
  • @BarrieEngland very hard to say that's's :D
    – B Faley
    Dec 16, 2011 at 9:05
  • 2
    @BarrieEngland Now that I think, it's not that hard if the first 's is pronounced 's' and the second is pronounced 'z'
    – B Faley
    Dec 16, 2011 at 9:07

You're quite right. I've never thought about it before, or seen it listed, but it is quite common in "What's he do?"

It's not that surprising if you think about it, because the "d" of "does" gets assimilated into the "t" of "what", so it becomes "whattəz" or "whadəz"


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.