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The word "guy" being used other than with an adjective seems odd to my ears. Is there a rule or explanation as to why that is?

These sentences sound ok with either "guy" or "man" or "boy":

  • He's a big guy/man/boy
  • That guy/man/boy is looks tired (That being the adjective here)

Whereas these don't. Replacing "guy" with "boy" or "man" seems more natural :

  • A guy is coming this way
  • One guy is enough to bring the wall down

EDIT: Is it all about familiarity? If you know the man or if at least, it's a specific man, "guy" seems to fit. In the example "A man is coming this way", you presumably don't know the man. In "One man is enough to [do X]", it's not about a specific man. Any man could do X. And more often than not, you'd use some form of an adjective for a known or specific person, which ties back to my feeling about the adjectives..

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  • If I get a close vote citing "Primarily opinion based" as the reason, should I take it to mean that there isn't a rule regarding this, and the oddity is to my ears alone? (and a few others perhaps)
    – insanity
    May 3 '18 at 14:38
  • 'That' is a distal demonstrative determiner here, 'a' the indefinite article, and 'one' a numeral. The only relevant adjective is 'big', and that comes after an indefinite article. // 'He's big man/fellow/cissy...' and 'Woman / Girl / Dog looks [/is] tired' are unacceptable, and 'Men / Women / Bulldozers are enough to bring the wall down' have a different meaning. May 3 '18 at 14:40
  • May be my focus on adjectives was misguided. I've rephrased to address my broader question.
    – insanity
    May 3 '18 at 14:48
  • Presumably, a guy is coming sounded fine in these cases. May 3 '18 at 14:49
  • @user9825893y50932 In the example ".. if he'd said stay home, a guy is coming by, I'd have fallen for it.. " seems a little bit along the lines of "a guy is coming by to fix the TV" or "I have a guy to arrange my travels", which in my head, translates to "TV guy" or "Travel guy", and sounds normal. But in the other example, But if a guy is coming out, people gonna take the negative outlook first is any random guy, and this does indeed sound odd to me. (There is an "are" missing between people and gonna, so I don't know reliable this is) May be it's all my imagination, I don't know.
    – insanity
    May 3 '18 at 14:54

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