I hear many native speakers dropping auxiliary verbs when asking questions. For instance, I hear them saying "How you doing?". Another example that came up to my ear recently: in the gym, I hear many native speakers say: "How many sets you got?" To ask about how many more sets you need a machine. This question doesn't sound well-structured. I think native speakers drop the "have", so the question was "How many sets have you got?" don't they?

How and when native speakers drop/not drop these auxiliary verbs when asking questions? Do "educated" native speakers speak like that also? Because someone told me that this language is used by noneducated people, but I'm not sure if this is true.

  • Possible duplicate of Use "got" or "have got"?
    – Eddie Kal
    Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 23:59
  • @EddieKal I don't think so, see the edit, please. The question you referred answers a part of my question though.
    – hbak
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 0:06
  • Okay, that's fine. I am just suggesting additional information to you.
    – Eddie Kal
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 0:10

1 Answer 1


Dropping the auxiliary verbs is nonstandard but somewhat common. "How you doing?" is a particularly common idiomatic case. The use of "got" is also a bit nonstandard. A more formal sentence might be "How many sets do you have?". People who are more inclined to formal speech patterns (possibly as a result of education level) will be less likely to omit the auxiliary verbs.

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