I've seen many American and English people writing their sentences like this:

I are...
You is...

While the way I've learned it, and seen most widely used is like this:

I am
You are

Is this some kind of a slang, or have I missed an English lesson?

  • +1 for "or have I missed an English lesson?" -- No, you sure haven't.
    – Kris
    Jan 16, 2014 at 11:54

1 Answer 1


I am and you are are the Standard English forms. In other dialects, the same form is used for all persons and numbers, so it is unlikely that a speaker of a nonstandard dialect would use both I are and you is. It would normally be are throughout or is throughout. As the sociolinguist Peter Trudgill says here:

Standard English has irregular forms of the verb to be both in the present tense (am, is, are) and in the past (was, were). Many nonstandard dialects have the same form for all persons, such as I be, you be, he be, we be, they be, and I were, you were, he were, we were, they were.

  • So it's correct if you say He be for example?
    – Claudio
    Jan 16, 2014 at 8:44
  • 2
    It's grammatical in a dialect which uses be for all persons and numbers. It is not grammatical in Standard English, which is the dialect non-native speakers learn. In Standard English the third person singular present tense of be is He is, not He be, and it is that which you should use. Jan 16, 2014 at 8:52
  • As I could understand from this: It is not Standard English, so you won't need to use it in your speech, as long as you understand what someone means by it.
    – Claudio
    Jan 16, 2014 at 10:02
  • 2
    Correct. You will hear all sorts of things in English which, as a foreign learner, you will not have been taught, and for most purposes you don't need to worry about them. Jan 16, 2014 at 10:04
  • 1
    +1 I suppose it's blindingly obvious when I think about it, but until now I hadn't been consciously aware that all those nonstandard dialectal verb forms invariably result from reduction of the full conjugations. Thus they can reasonably be seen as "forward-looking" simplifications, rather than ignorant "mixing up" of the standard forms. Jan 16, 2014 at 14:37

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