+0
Recently I read in one of the posts that "What's it?" is incorrect, but yesterday I was told by a native speaker of BrE that it is perfectly acceptable in spoken English. Is he correct?
1 2
Comments  
As a complete question, it would have the stress on "is", so the contraction is inappropriate. In a longer question, you could say, for example, "What's it called?", because the stress is now on "called".
Of course "this" and "that" are stronger words and can carry the stress, so "What's this?" is fine.
I wouldn't use it... But then I guess it can be heard in spoken English, as your source said. On the other hand, "what's this?" is perfectly correct.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
LOL! Emotion: smile
Great minds think alike
... and at the same time!
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.


/ˈwɒtsɪt/ (wotsit = what's it) is certainly used in informal British English as an approximating expression, like stuff, thing, thingy, etc.

It can refer to a person and is a variation on /ˈwɒtsɪzneɪm/ (wotsizname = what's his name) as in:

I saw /ˈwɒtsɪt/ (wotsit/what's it) the other day or

I saw /ˈwɒtsɪzneɪm/ (wotsizname = what's his name) the other day.

It can also refer to things, as in:

Where's that /ˈwɒtsɪt/ (wotsit/what's it) you bought the other day.

In fact there is even a Walkers (the famous UK snack food company) product called 'Wotsits' which plays on this as they aren't potato chips or crisps. Here's a links to the website: http://walkers.corpex.com/cr15p5/products.asp?snacktypeid=40

The one thing /ˈwɒtsɪt/ isn't though, is a question!

Hope that helps...

P.S. to Admin: The font in this post looks unusually big and I can't change it! There's no font sizer in the compose interface. I'm using IE7 btw.

It's also used in North American English (especially the phrase what's-his-name), but it's pronoucned [ wVtsIt ] and [ wVtsIznem ]
Tam SadekP.S. to Admin: The font in this post
looks unusually big and I can't change it! There's no font sizer in the
compose interface. I'm using IE7 btw.
Use the various Normal/Paragraph choices (the dropdown to the right of Insert Smiley in the compose interface)
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Show more