When they say ‘you are…’, they are saying ‘you all are…”

The phrase or verb formation ‘You are’ is always plural and to make this point, just pretend to hear ‘You all are’.

This came to mind when I overhead a Southerner saying, ‘C’mon y’all’. The phrase ‘y’all’ came about naturally because we are taught to use ‘you are’ in a singular and plural sense, depending on the context.

However, we see that context is not, in fact, enough, because people use ‘y’all’ or ‘you guys’ or ‘you all’ when speaking to a group, instead of just ‘you are’.

We reflexively think ‘you are’ is singular so people say ‘y’all’ or ‘you guys’ to emphasize it is the plural version of ‘you are’.

We actually should reflexively think ‘you are’ is plural because that is the truth. ‘You are’ sits after ‘we are’ and before ‘they are’ and all three instances use ‘are’. Maybe it’s easier to at first realize that ‘are’ is always plural.

We are
You are
They are

Thou might also think pretend to hear ‘youse’ when someone, especially a judge, says ‘you are’.

Now brace thyself. This will sound strange but think about it.

As I have written about before, judges say ‘you are’ because in a court case of UNITED STATES vs. JOHN SMITH, the name JOHN SMITH is a corporation or franchise.

When the man, john of the smith family, shows up at court, they ask him if he is representing (the corporation) JOHN SMITH, which they assume has more than one worker, hence they address john as ‘you are’ since john is representing a company of people.

Just pretend that john is at court with other people from the JOHN SMITH corporation and the judge is speaking to all of them. Instead of saying ‘y’all are’ he says ‘you are.’

Why would anyone create a language where a key portion can be unclear? It doesn’t make sense, unless for suspicious reasons.

The correct singular verb conjugation is ‘Thou is‘. If we go back to using ‘Thou is’ we can then use ‘you are’ without resorting to phrases such as ‘y’all’ or ‘you guys’ when speaking to more than one man or woman.

Read more on this page about the French way of tricking people with Vous etes.

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