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3人いるだと!?

Can you say 3人いるだ as a statement? If だと is simply だ + と, I would expect 3人いるんだと. Is だと considered a particle in its own right, with different rules than だ?

dato

Transcription of the contents of the picture:

A: [何]{なに}がどうなってる!!
    17[区]{く}にも[傷の男]{スカー}!?
     じゃあ 3区のはなんだ!?
B: ダグラス大佐!
     8区にも出ました!
C: ……3人いるだと!?

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だと!? at the end of a sentence, e.g. 何だと!? "say what!?" can indicate shock or disbelief, e.g. "you say there are three people there!?"

Edit: The だと seems to have come from だって. According to Daijisen's last definition:

[終助]《係助詞「だって」の文末用法から》引用句に付く。相手の言葉に対して、非難・驚きの気持ちを込めて強調する意を表す。

[final auxiliary] 《from the binding particle だって's end-of-sentence rules of use》 Attaches to a quotation. Indicates additional emphasis of criticism or surprise in regards to the other person's speech/words.

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    Hmm 3人いるだと言いました?/3人いるだといった?are not grammatical... maybe you've heard the phrase '~~だって?'/'~~ですって?', so I think the sentence here can be rephrased as 「『3人いる』だって?」/「『3人いる』ですって?」-- The difference is that「『3人いる』だと?」sounds masculine. (Can this be any help?)
    – user1016
    May 30, 2012 at 22:45
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    @Chocolate, is it grammatical if the 3人いるだ is treated as a quote? = "3人いるだ"と言いましたの?=Did you say it was three people?
    – yadokari
    May 30, 2012 at 23:42
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    @cypher-san, Yes, I think "~~だと?" sounds quite masculine... I wouldn't use that form in daily conversation, nor would any of my female friends do. (Maybe we would use it when we quarrel with our family or very close friends and get veery angry.)(Ah and we'd use it jokingly too.) 何ですって?sounds feminine and polite, so I think we (females) would use 何て?/3人いるって?instead in normal conversation.
    – user1016
    May 31, 2012 at 7:11
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    @yadokari-san, No, the quote would be "3人いる". I'd say 「"3人いる"と言いましたか?」/「"3人いる"って言いましたか?」「"3人いる"と(orって)言ったの(orん)ですか?」. (3人いるだと言いましたか/3人いるだって言いましたか sound awkward.) ---By the way, we say 「3人いるって言ったの?」 but not 「3人いるって言いましたの?」. Curious, we can say 言ったの, but we don't use the "の" with ました(the polite form) here, おっしゃいましたの? sounds fine though...
    – user1016
    May 31, 2012 at 7:35
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    @Paceriersan-- 「『三人いる』だと言った?」sounds awkward and I think it's ungrammatical... According to cyper-san's answer, だと is a 終助詞, so I think this is why it can't be followed by verbs such as 言う/思う/話す etc.
    – user1016
    Jun 2, 2012 at 5:41

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