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Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
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Standard American English doesn't have a word meaning "all of you to whom I speak" Nonstandard "y'all" is used in the southern states, and in the northeast where I live "youse" or "youse guys" is a nonstandard usage that is less and less common.

Do other countries or languages have a good word for "you (inclusive)" as the linguists would say? I like y'all.
 
John Polk
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Spanish has Ustedes, which is plural of Usted.
Actually, I believe that all of the Romantic languages have both singular & plural forms.

The English You is both singular & plural, but it is not explicit, hence our need for y'all.
I've come to the conclusion that the people who invented English must have been illiterate.

 
James Graham
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In Italian, 'voi' is the plural of the singular you, 'tu'.
In a formal setting it would be 'Loro'.

In Spanish, 'vosotros' is used for the informal. It is rarely used in Latin America, more common in Spain.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
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Ah, that's the thing about English, nobody invented it, it's the language of an island that was conquered over and over by people with different languages with different structures as well as different vocabulary.

I like vosotros.

Especially when used in an online situation like these forums, it helps to be clear about what words mean. Nuances of communication are so much simpler and more explicit in a face to face context.
 
Leila Rich
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'Youse' is used by a pretty specific demographic over here, and is generally considered pretty, er, 'uneducated'.
But youse makes perfect sense, while 'proper' English is really quite nonsensical
 
wayne stephen
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I am a New Englander who has been south of the Mason-Dixon line for so long that I say Y'all without even thinking . Sometimes I even say it when greeting a single individual . Bob : " Hey Wayne " Me : " HiYallDoin" . I guess that is being polite just in case someone else is in earshot - wouldn't want them to feel left out. By the way - " How are you all doing " is pronounced "Hiyalldoon" .
 
Cris Bessette
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Y'all is an "Informal second-person plural pronoun" :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_personal_pronouns#Archaic_and_non-standard_forms

In old English you would have said "ye" when speaking to a group, "thou" when speaking to one person.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ye_%28pronoun%29


Others above mentioned the 2nd most used language in the USA, Spanish. Not only do the pronouns refer to the number of people spoken to, but also
the verb conjunctions, adjectives,etc. It's a completely integrated part of the language.

Funny thing though, speaking to a group of people in Spanish, all female except one male- you use the masculine forms of grammatical gender- built in sexism!




 
Matu Collins
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So what's the possessive form of y'all? As in something that belongs to a group of people.

Y'alls? Yall's? Y'all's?
 
Cris Bessette
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Matu Collins wrote:So what's the possessive form of y'all? As in something that belongs to a group of people.

Y'alls? Yall's? Y'all's?


Around here I hear "yall's" (where "yall" is considered a plural pronoun, and the apostrophe "s" at the end indicates ownership)
Also I have heard "yalls's " (where "yall" is considered plural, but the plural "s" is tacked on , just in case. The apostrophe "s" at the end indicates ownership)
 
wayne stephen
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I found an interesting blog about the root source of Y'all and how that term reached teenage slang in NYC . A quote from that blog :

…Montgomery claims that “y’all” goes back to the Scots-Irish phrase “ye aw,” and he offers as evidence a letter written in 1737 by an Irish immigrant in New York to a friend back home: “Now I beg of ye aw to come over here.”

And a link to that blog :

http://dialectblog.com/2011/02/15/the-remarkable-history-of-yall/

I might add to his proposition that african americans had introduced y'all to teenagers up north the homogenizing power internet and television .
 
Tom Gauthier
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Location: U.P., Michigan
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Actually, "youse" is now in some dictionaries ... at least it is in the Miriam-Webster version. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/youse

Even though someone with a Doctorate degree from a prestigious university would probably snub their nose at it, it is a very practical word.

As for "y'all", we just recently (4 years) moved to the South and I don't think I've started using it yet, I've certainly gotten used to hearing it. Of course, as a Yankee (actually, we're Damn Yankees), I still don't understand all the variations ... "y'all", "y'alls", and "all y'alls" ?? As for the origin, it seems pretty obvious to me that it's a contraction of "you all".

Anyway, my two cents ... youse can carry on with the discussion.

-Tom
 
Rebecca Norman
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Matu Collins wrote:
Do other countries or languages have a good word for "you (inclusive)" as the linguists would say? I like y'all.


That's you (plural) in linguist speak, and yes, most languages have it, and many also have a distinction of levels of respect.

But Ladakhi has two kinds of "we," inclusive and exclusive. The inclusive "we" means "you, me, and maybe some other people," while the exclusive one means "Me and other people but not you."

A good friend of mine went into a funk for days when his stepmother invited him in for tea using the exclusive one, "Come to our house (but it's not your house)."
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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I need someone to explain "all y'all" to me. I get y'all. (all of you), I get yall's (belonging to all of you). Does all y'all = everyone?
 
Cris Bessette
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Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:I need someone to explain "all y'all" to me. I get y'all. (all of you), I get yall's (belonging to all of you). Does all y'all = everyone?


"yall" and "all yall" mean basically the same thing, it means "all of you" ,
but the "all" gets added as an "intensifier" or to empathize beyond a doubt "ALL" of you.

 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Thanks Cris.

And now I want to know if there are other languages besides English that don't have a clear "you plural" word.

I will confirm that Chinese has you and you plural: Ni (you singular) and NiMen (you plural).
 
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