Informal question construction: "Anyone know what...", "Everyone finished?"



I've encountered this slight problem with an informal sentence:

Anyone know what a serrated knife is?

I thought the sentence was incorrect - there's no ·s for the third person singular. However, my teacher informed me that it might actually be correct, similarly as in the sentence "Everyone finished?".

I've been trying to find some explanation for this; however, I haven't really been successful.


Posted 2019-05-19T10:10:12.423

Reputation: 61

1[Does] anyone know and [Is] everyone finished show the formal grammar structure, but the first word is typically omitted in conversation. – CodeGnome – 2019-05-19T15:17:53.607



Formally, questions often start with "does" or "do" - does anyone know where my hat is? Do you want a cup of tea? The verb (e.g. "know", "want") is the base (infinitive) form. In informal conversation the do/does at the start is often omitted, but the verb remains in the base form. Thus your teacher is correct.

Michael Harvey

Posted 2019-05-19T10:10:12.423

Reputation: 31 750

3+1 The omission is called [tag:conversational-deletion]. – StoneyB on hiatus – 2019-05-19T12:41:17.527