What you gotta hose for?

  1. Is is correct, can I use this sentence in informal english?

  2. How can I say this sentence formally?

  • 1
    What is the sentence supposed to mean? Sep 29, 2021 at 19:35
  • 1
    It's like you are on a trip and suddenly someone pulls out a hose outta their bag and you ask them "what you gotta hose for?"
    – JCorpMy
    Sep 29, 2021 at 19:39
  • 2
    Gotta is always incorrect in Standard Written English.
    – tchrist
    Sep 29, 2021 at 23:56
  • 2
    Nowadays people are always whipping out hoses, no one is safe, I say it's gotta stop.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 30, 2021 at 6:48

2 Answers 2


You're parsing it incorrectly. It's not "gotta", it's "got a". "you got" is a nonstandard way of saying "do you have", so the whole sentence is informal for

What do you have a hose for?

"gotta" is normally used as a contraction of "have got to", as in

I gotta go to the store.

  • Isn't "gotta" short for have got to ?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 30, 2021 at 6:51
  • Yes, you're right, although "I have" is usually reduced to a contraction "I've". So "I gotta" is short for "I've got to"
    – Barmar
    Sep 30, 2021 at 15:04
  • Which, interestingly, is equivalent to "I have to" -- "got" is redundant.
    – Barmar
    Sep 30, 2021 at 15:06

As informal English it is perfectly fine/horrendous depending.

More formally "Why have you got a hose?" And with some urgency the contraction of "gotta" is just fine. If not the detailed situation of the fire fighter there may be more fundamental philosophical questions at large.

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