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So I'm reading a book set in the American South in the beginning of the 1900 and I stumble upon the use of the verb is with you ("you is", "is you?") in conversations: eg. "is you Samson Fuller?". I've heard this in rap songs before, but this usage made me wonder how it came about. Could someone give any insight into this? History, usage today?

(The writer also adds an s to some verbs, eg. "I doubts that", "I sees", etc. What's with that?)

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There is another question about you is but I'm not convinced that it redirects to an answer. – Andrew Leach Oct 23 '13 at 10:24
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The third person of the verb for all singular persons is dialectal use in some afroamerican communities, mainly.

This has been used thoroughly in literature. For instance, Jim always speaks this way in The adventures of Huckleberry Finn:

Pretty soon Jim says:

"Say, who is you? Whar is you? Dog my cats ef I didn' hear sumf'n. Well, I know what I's gwyne to do: I's gwyne to set down here and listen tell I hears it ag'in."

Nowadays, nevertheless, using dialectal writing is considered offensive by some people.

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