English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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

Why you no come?
Why you no talk English?
Why you no have a girlfriend?

What kind of English are these sentences? Are these types of sentences grammatically correct?

share|improve this question

closed as not a real question by MετάEd, tchrist, FumbleFingers, TimLymington, Lynn Nov 26 '12 at 2:33

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Bad English. Bad, racist English. – tylerharms Nov 24 '12 at 15:58

I guess you are talking about the Y U NO guy.

enter image description here

“Y U NO” Guy (also known as “Y U No [X]?”) is an image macro series using SMS shorthands and carefree grammar as a way to bring someone’s attention on a particular subject or issue.

~ http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/y-u-no-guy

So basically, no, they are not proper grammar, but they work great in situations like these, because they bring people's attention. Like they brought yours :)

share|improve this answer

None of them is grammatically correct. They should be:

Why {don't / didn't} you come?
Why {aren't / weren't} you speaking English?


Why {don't /didn't} you speak English?
Why {don't / didn't} you have a girlfriend?

I offer past and present tense choices because there's no context to tell me whether they refer to the present or the past.

Also, there is never a space between the last word in a question and the question mark.

The kind of English you ask about is possibly either a pidgin or a stereotype of how people who speak pidgin English sound. This is common in old "cowboy and Indian" movies about the American west and other English-language movies with characters who aren't fluent English speakers, especially characters who might live in jungles, in grass huts, or in caves.

share|improve this answer
It's used especially to stereotype the English of Chinese immigrants. On a baseball site I frequent one young man of Chinese descent is jocularly assumed to have a "stock" Chinese mother; the standing phrase for dismissing his observations is "Why you no doctor yet?" – StoneyB Nov 24 '12 at 13:28
@MετάEd: I'm under the impression that I have the choice of assuming that "none" is either singular or plural. I could just as easily have said "Not one of them is grammatically correct" or "All of them are grammatically incorrect". But I won't argue the point. It doesn't really matter to me, even though I debated which verb I wanted to use: "is" or "are". I'll bow to peer pressure in this case. – user21497 Nov 24 '12 at 13:53
@StoneyB: Yes, true enough. Many Chinese speakers here in Taiwan say things like "I no any money" and "You no cold?" And to add to what I said about answers to negative tags in response to another question, most prefer to say things like "I always don't go swimming" instead of "I never go swimming". Negatives in Chinese are quite different from negatives in English. – user21497 Nov 24 '12 at 13:58

Simply put, English requires the helping verb "do" in each of these cases. It is somewhat idiosyncratic, however, enough to the point where it becomes a useful marker of the knowledge of the language, at least insofar as popular movies are concerned...

share|improve this answer

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