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Thread: What do you say we...

  1. #1
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    What do you say we...

    I’ve been hearing a lot of phrases lately similar to:
    What do you say we go home now?
    Vittoria sat up. ‘What’s gravity?’ she demanded.
    ‘Tell me!’
    The priest gave her a wink. What do you say I tell you over dinner?
    Is it grammatically legal to use a construction of the kind?
    I thought to express a thought like that you should say something along the lines of ‘What would you say if I told you (that) over dinner?’
    Or is it just an American feature?

  2. #2
    Hanna
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    Re: What do you say we...

    Good question!

    Answer: It is a less common and a bit more informal way of saying "how about if..." or "why don't we/you/I?" You would expect the answer to be a "yes", but it's not guaranteed.

    It sounds a tiny bit "American" to me, but any English speaking person would definitely know what it means. American expressions have a tendency of spreading throughout the English speaking world through films etc.

    I use this expression occassionally, but not a lot. I would use it if I wanted to make a positive suggestion and sound informal at the same time. If I wanted to make a serious or important suggestion or request, then I would not use it.

    Comment about speech patterns:
    Americans tend to sound a lot more informal than British people in almost every situation conceivable... Even statements by politicians can contain plenty of slang expressions or idioms from TV etc... If a British person started using American expressions while still speaking with a British accent people, then others would think the person was very strange! But for an American person, this is 100% normal. I sometimes use American expressions just because they sound fun and cool -- English people don't like it...

    Some of these types of expressions look a bit strange when written down, so it doesn't happen a lot. IN fact you don't come across this until you start listening to normal English spoken between native speakers in informal situations... That's probably why you didn't know it.

  3. #3
    Завсегдатай sperk's Avatar
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    Re: What do you say we...

    Quote Originally Posted by alexB
    I’ve been hearing a lot of phrases lately similar to:
    What do you say we go home now?
    Vittoria sat up. ‘What’s gravity?’ she demanded.
    ‘Tell me!’
    The priest gave her a wink. What do you say I tell you over dinner?
    Is it grammatically legal to use a construction of the kind?
    I thought to express a thought like that you should say something along the lines of ‘What would you say if I told you (that) over dinner?’
    Or is it just an American feature?
    "What do you say" is like a command, the person who says it is not expecting the listener to say "no, I would rather...".
    "‘What would you say if I told you (that) over dinner?’" is a conditional sentence, the person asking is expecting some sort of reply to "what would you say if...". Perhaps you mean "how about if I told you that over dinner" which is very similar to "what do you say.." though more casual, not as stern.
    I'm not aware of "what do you say" being an Americanism. I think Russians get too caught up in this American vs. British English thing...unless it's some sort of slang term the "languages" are 99.99% mutually compehensible.
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

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    Re: What do you say we...

    Then, according to that, the missing question mark at the end of the original sentence What do you say I tell you over dinner’, which I thought was a misprint, is rightfully not there?

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    Завсегдатай sperk's Avatar
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    Re: What do you say we...

    Quote Originally Posted by alexB
    Then, according to that, the missing question mark at the end of the original sentence What do you say I tell you over dinner’, which I thought was a misprint, is rightfully not there?
    Correct.
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

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    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Re: What do you say we...

    Alex,

    I know you have your answer here.. I just want to add that "we" tend to use this phrase hmm... how do I describe it? Let me just give you examples:

    Mom to daughter: Come on, let's get your homework done.
    Daughter: What do you say, we skip the homework and go to the movies.

    Harbormaster: Hold up there, you. It's a shilling to tie up your boat at the dock... and I shall need to know your name.
    Jack Sparrow: What do you say to three shillings and we forget the name.
    Harbormaster: Welcome to Port Royal, Mr. Smith.

    "What do you say to you and me and one of your friends makes three?" 3:52 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKxqTQB5ooM
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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    Re: What do you say we...

    Перевод: Как насчёт...
    Another month ends. All targets met. All systems working. All customers satisfied. All staff eagerly enthusiastic. All pigs fed and ready to fly.

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