So I'm reading a 19th-century novel called The Count of Monte Cristo, and I came across this particular usage, which is:

[H]e continued," let us make all possible speed. I are most anxious to finish my evening at the Duke of Bracciano's."

I'm aware some usages in the book tend to be rather old-fashioned, but I still find the use of "I are" very peculiar. Is this a common usage in older English or in literary works? Thanks.

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    As this novel was originally written in French, it could be a mistake in translation or a deliberate mistake reflecting intentionally bad grammar in the original. But it is not correct. – James McLeod Aug 10 '20 at 0:17
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    Old engineering school joke: Four years ago I couldn't even spell "injunere", and now I are one. – Hot Licks Aug 10 '20 at 0:18
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    The French is Maintenant, monsieur le comte, dit-il, la plus grande diligence possible! je tiens énormément à aller finir ma nuit chez le duc de Bracciano. I don't believe there are any grammatical mistakes in the French. – Peter Shor Aug 10 '20 at 0:30
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    I’m voting to close because there are just two results for: I are "most anxious to finish my evening" – Mari-Lou A Aug 12 '20 at 23:26
  • [added]: only two results on Google strongly suggest the plural verb cited " I are most anxious" is a typographical error (a typo). – Mari-Lou A Aug 12 '20 at 23:28

No, it's not common usage in older English. I think it's a misprint. The 1888 edition has "I am enormously anxious to finish my night at the Duke of Bracciano’s.”

If it isn't a misprint it could conceivably be a device of the translator's, to portray the speaker as affected (artificial, pretentious).

In French, 'Je sommes' certainly has its uses. Evidently this isn't one of them.

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    It could also be an OCR error. ’m’ and ’re’ could look similar. – Jim Aug 10 '20 at 6:00
  • @Jim: Or 'm' and 'rn' look similar, and an automatic spelling corrector fixed "arn" to "are". Automation is getting so complicated there is room for more and more complicated mistakes. – Peter Shor Aug 10 '20 at 20:14
  • @PeterShor - Oh, good thought! – Jim Aug 10 '20 at 20:18

The conjugation of the verb "to be" is:

I am

thou art (archaic)

you (singular) are

he/she is

we are

you (plural) are

they are

From this viewpoint, the use of "I are" is neither a matter of usage nor of choice. It is simply wrong.

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