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In a film I thought I heard a man say "And I you." I wondered if it were OK because there seemed to be no verb?

Another man said to him "I like you my buddy". So why did he not reply "So do I buddy"?

  • 3
    This is simply a case of ellipsis. I wouldn't say it is too common in modern conversational English, but it is entirely grammatically legitimate. In this particular case, however, the second man would more likely say I like you too, buddy. To say so do I indicates agreement, which could be interpreted as the second man saying he likes himself. – choster Jul 9 '14 at 22:59
  • ...Yes. 'And I you' may be grammatical, but that's the only good thing you can say about it, to quote John Lawler. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 9 '14 at 23:10
  • I just did, so yes it can be done. – Oldcat Apr 3 '15 at 18:14
  • Would you remember what movie it was? – Yulia V Feb 8 '18 at 23:44
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A says to B "I love you"

B says to A "And I you"

Perfectly acceptable. Where is the verb in the latter sentence ? It's in the former sentence and understood to be also in the latter, the repetition is unnecessary. "love" could be replaced by a range of other verbs, such as "hate" or "admire" or "despise"; in fact I can't think of a transitive verb acceptable in the first sentence as a replacement for "love" for which the omission in the second sentence is not acceptable.

  • I checked his profile, too, and am glad you pointed out to him the error of his ways (if error it was). – Cyberherbalist Jul 9 '14 at 23:06
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    The intend might be clearer if it was punctuated as "And I, you." – keshlam Jul 10 '14 at 0:21
  • @keshlam: I doubt it, I see no use for a comma there. – High Performance Mark Jul 10 '14 at 0:29
  • @HighPerformanceMark: We agree that we disagree. I've always heard this spoken with a pause between the pronouns, which emphasizes that the phrase is an ellipsis and that the intent is to reverse the pronouns. The comma corresponds to that pause, and serves the same purpose of clarifying how the phrase is intended to be interpreted. Your mileage will, of course, vary. – keshlam Jul 10 '14 at 0:32
  • For me, the thing about adding a comma is that if the pause is a long one there's a point at which it becomes a bit "teasing". So if I wanted to be sure to avoid that, I'd write it without a comma. All I'd add to this answer is to say that it's quite a poetic way of putting things. As a response to "I like/love you" and things like that, it works quite naturally. But in most other situations it can come across as pompous and absurd. – Rupe Jul 10 '14 at 1:00
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It is perfectly acceptable.

As to "So why did he not reply 'So do I buddy'?", this would be saying "I like me, too". Which may be true in any case, but doesn't express reciprocity. In other words, instead of the two of them saying that they like each other, they would each be saying that they like one of them.

I might say "I enjoy eating crab for dinner." If my dinner companion also likes crab, he might say "So do I." In other words, we both like to eat crab.

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