1

In English it is usual to stress a personal pronoun or a noun so as to introduce a departure from the preceding spell of conversation in which is mentioned another agent in relation to the same action. An example should make that clearer.

  • They enjoyed this song very much; did you enjoy it?

Is the repetition of the pronoun, instead of strong stress, ever used to obtain the same effect, as in the following rephrasing below?

  • They enjoyed this song very much; you, did you enjoy it?

To me that practice sounds totally foreign to English, but it is commonly used in French.

Is there any possibility of such repetitions in English, whatever the end?

1

Your repetition of you also feels "off" to me, too, but I can't put my finger on exactly why. It would be a lot better to me with a leading and: to me, "And you, did you enjoy it?" sounds completely ok. Without the linking and it feels too brusque or cur in this particular circumstance.

Here’s a more normal approach:

“You've said that this sounds totally foreign to English. Me, I’m not so sure of that. ”

Note that just as French uses tonic pronouns like toi and moi here not nominative ones like tu or je for the first pronoun, the one before the “repetition”, so too does English also use a differently cased pronoun than a nominative one. We just use the object case in English for the first one and subject case for the second, so you get pairs like "Me, I" or "Us, we" or "Him, he" etc.

4
  • @LPH It would be taken to mean "[How about] you, did you enjoy it?" but does sound a little abrupt without the elided part. I don't know why. Maybe this "emphatic pronoun focusing" doubled-pronoun trick works better in declarative sentences than in interrogative ones. – tchrist Nov 8 '19 at 2:30
  • Yes, I am used to that form; it is a familiar option to me, no discussion about this one. It's the repetition of that "you" that's bugging me. – LPH Nov 8 '19 at 2:34
  • @LPH Your repetition of you also feels "off" to me, too, but I can't put my finger on exactly why. It would be a lot better to me with a leading and, so "And you, did you enjoy it?" That sounds completely ok. Without the linking and it feels brusque or curt. – tchrist Nov 8 '19 at 2:35
  • Thanks for this information, I can now abstain from using it on the ground of a better justification in mistrusting it. – LPH Nov 8 '19 at 2:42

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.