2

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 '14 at 11:54
3

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 '14 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. – Barrie England Jan 16 '14 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 '14 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. – Barrie England Jan 16 '14 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. – FumbleFingers Jan 16 '14 at 14:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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