English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Use of fixing to at the beginning of a sentence is prevalent in the southern states of Amerca. Is this the right usage? And is this only a southern US thing?

Examples:

Fixing to call her.

Fixing dinner.

Fixing to leave the house.

share|improve this question
9  
"Fixing to call her" and "fixing to leave the house" ("planning to...") are different from "fixing dinner" ("making..."). – Kosmonaut Sep 14 '10 at 19:11
1  
Not really an official answer, so I'll leave it as a comment. I live in the West, and I don't hear "fix" as in "plan". However, I do hear (and have said) "fixing dinner". – Chris Dwyer Sep 14 '10 at 19:56
1  
"Fixin' to make dinner." – user362 Sep 14 '10 at 21:33
1  
None of those are sentences... – Joel Spolsky Sep 17 '10 at 3:42
1  
Fixin' to fix dinner. – Ullallulloo Sep 21 '10 at 23:23
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Is this the right usage?

For "fixing to (do something)", that depends. If I am writing an academic paper or a business-related email, then no. If I am in Boston, or Chicago, or San Francisco and I don't want to sound out of place, then no. But if I am living in the South of the US and I am having casual conversation, then "fixing to" might often be just the right word to use.

"Fixing dinner" is much more prevalent than "fixing to (do something)". I say this because I don't think it would feel out of place in any of the (northern and eastern US) places I have lived (though I would imagine it would get the heaviest use in the South). Still, I probably wouldn't personally use that phrase in formal, written English.

share|improve this answer
2  
P.S. When I asked my (southern) wife if about "fixing to", she corrected my pronunciation; it's supposed to be "fixin' to" :) – Kosmonaut Sep 18 '10 at 13:44
    
"Fixing dinner" would not even be out of place in the UK. But I doubt that "fixing to (do something)" would even be understood. – TrevorD Jul 27 '13 at 22:15

"Fixing to ..." is common usage in the southern US, meaning "about to" or "preparing to" do something, but rarely if ever at the beginning of a sentence. Perhaps in answer to a question:

"Whatcha doin', Pa?"

"Fixin' to hunt me some possum."

share|improve this answer
    
I'm from the North (Chicago) but now live in the South (Oklahoma). I have heard plenty of people start sentences with "Fixin' to" when it was not a response to a question. – michaelkoss Sep 21 '10 at 16:58
    
redneck at its best :D +1 – roman m Oct 21 '10 at 22:01

It's also appeared in song titles, most notably I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die

I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die is the second album by the influential San Francisco psychedelic rock group Country Joe and the Fish, released in 1967. The title track remains one of the most popular Vietnam protest songs from the 1960s and originally appeared in a 1965 7" EP titled Rag Baby: Songs of Opposition.

share|improve this answer

Even though I can be offended by incorrect grammar to the point where it might be obnoxious at times, I still embrace local colloquialisms. Having been born and bred in the Deep South (US), I use "fixing to" regularly. Yes, it means "about to". However, since we don't pronounce hard g's at the end of these expressions, it would be pronounced "fixin’ to".

share|improve this answer

If I'm fixing (or fixin') to do something, fixing is an adverb, answering the question of "when" you're going to start doing something. I'm from the South (Savannah, Georgia) and this is common usage in those parts. This "fixing" is completely different from the verb "fixing" in this sentence: "I'm fixing the broken gate" - How about this one? "I'm fixing to start fixing the broken gate". The first fixing is an adverb, the second one a verb.
Miriam Oglesbee Ellison

share|improve this answer
    
What does "fixing" mean as an adverb? – Rathony May 16 at 3:46
    
@Rathony In the immediate future – Andrew Lazarus May 16 at 5:13
    
Can you edit the post? You don't need to write the user name in your post. – Rathony May 16 at 5:15

Um.... That's colloquialism. Southern people say "fixin to" while African American people tend to change the expression to "fittin to." They mean the same thing. It essentially means to prepare to do something.

"We were fittin to go to the park, when, suddenly the weather changed, as did our plans."

share|improve this answer
    
They shorten it to "fin" quite often as well. – Jasmine Oct 7 '14 at 17:05

protected by Rathony May 16 at 3:45

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.