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5 Vote

As you have probably seen in my posts on here, the word "y'all" is embedded in part of my english vocabulary. Cristalino asked a very valid and good question recently in one of my posts and as well I've been asked before if this word is proper, so to accurately answer the question and help those who are here learning english I did some studying. Simply put, y'all is the english equivalent to Uds. but it is generally a regional term used in the south. More info below in English and Spanish... enjoy. wink


Como usted probablemente ha visto en mis postes en aquí, la palabra "y'all" es empotrada en parte de mi vocabulario inglés. Cristalino hizo una pregunta muy válida y buena recientemente en uno de mis postes y también yo he sido preguntado antes que si esta palabra es apropiada, así para contestar exactamente la pregunta y ayudar los que aquí aprenden inglés que hice algún estudia. Simplemente, "ya'll" sea el equivalente inglés a Uds. pero sea generalmente un término regional utilizado en el sur de los EEUU. Más información abajo en inglés y español... Disfrutalo grin


Y'all (pronounced as one syllable (/ˈjɔːl/ yawl) or two (/ˈjuː.ɔːl/ YEW-awl)) is a contraction of the words "you" and "all". It is used as a plural second-person pronoun. Commonly believed to have originated in the Southern United States, it is primarily associated with Southern American English, African-American Vernacular English, and some dialects of the Western United States and the Midwestern United States. It is also found in the English-speaking islands of the West Indies.

There are currently four generally recognized properties that "y'all" follows

A replacement for the plural of you. Example: "Y'all can use the internet at the same time!"

An associative plural, including individuals associated but not present with the singular addressee. Example: "Y'all can come over at around 10:30," Chris says. Chris explains to John that John and John's friends, who are not present at the time, can come over at around 10:30. Chris is speaking to John, but treats John as a representative for others.

An institutional plural addressed to one person representing a group. Example: "Y'all sell the best candies, Mrs. Johnson." Y'all is received by Mrs. Johnson who is the representative of a small candy business.

A form used in direct address in certain contexts (e.g., partings, greetings, invitations, and vocatives) Example: "Hey, y'all!" A greeting that addresses a multitude of people without referencing a singular identity comprising that multitude.


Y'all es una contracción de las palabras "tú" y "todos". Se utiliza como un pronombre plural de segunda persona. Comúnmente se cree que se originó en el sur de Estados Unidos, que se asocia principalmente con el sur de Inglés Americano, Africano-Americanos vernacular Inglés, y algunos dialectos del oeste de Estados Unidos y el medio oeste de Estados Unidos. También se encuentra en las islas de habla Inglés de las Indias Occidentales.

En este momento hay cuatro propiedades en general, reconoció que 'ustedes' sigue

Un reemplazo para el plural de usted. Ejemplo: '¿Todos pueden usar Internet al mismo tiempo! "

Un plural asociativo, en especial las personas asociadas, pero no se presentan con el destinatario singular. Ejemplo: '¿Todos pueden venir alrededor de las 10:30, "dice Chris. Chris explica a John que Juan y los amigos de Juan, que no están presentes en el momento, puede venir alrededor de las 10:30. Chris está hablando a Juan, pero trata a Juan como un representante de los demás.

Un plural institucional dirigida a una persona que representa al grupo. Ejemplo: "Todos ustedes venden los mejores dulces, la Sra. Johnson. Y'all es recibido por la señora Johnson, quien es el representante de un pequeño negocio de los dulces.

Una forma utilizada en la dirección directa en ciertos contextos (por ejemplo, despedidas, saludos, invitaciones y vocativos) Ejemplo: "Hey, ustedes! ' Un saludo que dirige a una multitud de personas sin hacer referencia a una identidad singular que abarca multitud


use of the word "y'all"

Here is a photo to represent frequency of just "Y'all" to address multiple people, according to an Internet survey of American dialect variation.


Aquí está una foto de representar frecuencia de "y'all" para dirigir múltiples a personas, según una inspección de Internet de variación norteamericana de dialecto.

I hope this has been informative for y'all.

Saludos, DJ Huero ((( d(-_-)b )))

Note: If you would like to add information please post in English and Spanish. Thanks!


Nota: Si desea agregar información por favor ponerla en inglés y español. Gracias!

11 Answers

3 Vote

Thank you for a great thread, DJ. Modern English is definitely defective in it's lack of a second person plural personal pronoun. Old English had "ye". Modern English only has y'all and it's rough cousins. I'm a big proponent of the use of y'all. It's a wonderful word, and English needs it.

2 Vote

I think it's been established that everyone is entitled to their opinions. I would just like to ask that we ensure none of us are being hateful to each other. I'm not saying that was any of your ententions, but think before you speak to ensure you deliver the message you intended in the manner in which you intended it. Fair enough? =)

The use of y'all is definently not a sign of ignorance or lack of education though. It's a regional vernacular. Just as in Mexico, Norteños (northerners) speak different than Sureños, and so on in other countries as well i'm sure. Thanks for everyone's input though. grin

1 Vote

Yes, y'all is one of many regional compensations for the complete (and inexcusable) lack of a second person plural pronoun in English.

Other regions use things like youse guys, youse, or you'ns (you ones). Youse can also be spelled yous (pronounced like yoos).


Sí, «y'all» es una de varios sustitutos regionales para la falta total (y imperdonable) de un pronombre para la segunda persona plural en inglés.

Otras regiones usan palabras como «youse guys», «youse», o «you'ns» (una contracción para you y ones). «Youse» puede ser escrito tambien como «yous» y, sin importar como es escrito, es pronunciado como /ius/.

y'all

youse

you'ns

you-uns (there's also we-uns)

There's also yins.

  • Do you mind adding that in spanish too? I would like to make this post as useful as possible to all, and you've provided good info. =) - DJ_Huero Feb 3, 2011 flag
  • A veces, «y'all» es usado para la segunda persona singular por algunas personas. Es posible que la misma persona use o «you» o «y'all» para la singular. - webdunce Feb 3, 2011 flag
1 Vote

Interestingly, in times past...ye was the second person plural. You was the objective form of ye (that is to say, you was only plural and never a subject).

If one encounters "you" in the King James version of the Bible, it is always a plural you.

Thou and thee were the subject and object forms (respectively) of the singular second person.

  • Must have meant 'the' as well, as in ye olde red lion and things like that, though I understand that ye in that context was pronounced 'the' and olde 'old'. - afowen Feb 3, 2011 flag
  • Hmmm....I always took that ye as yer (your), but I never studied on it. - webdunce Feb 3, 2011 flag
  • I reckon it could have been "the." With English, especially older English, nearly anything is possible. - webdunce Feb 3, 2011 flag
1 Vote

Y'all, definitely only used in the States.

In Spain, we would use:

Todos, a comer...y'all, let's eat.

Hola todos! Hi , y'allsmile

  • Interesting spin on it in spanish. Thanks Heidita! =) - DJ_Huero Feb 5, 2011 flag
0 Vote

What kind of music do you play DJ?

It's worth noting that in saying 'the south', DJ refers to the South of the US of A.

Y'all, to my knowledge is not used in British, Antipodean (to the U of K), African, Indian, nor any other English. Many know what it means through the ubiquity of US cinema.

In Bringlish one can use 'you lot' but it does have an air of coarseness about it grin

Vale la pena anotar que en decir 'el sur', DJ refiere al sur de los EEUU.

Tanto como entiendo yo, 'y'all' no es usada en inglés bretánico, de áfrica, india, australia, nueva zelanda, ni otro tipo de inglés. Mucha gente sabe lo que significa a través de la ubicuidad de la cinema estadounidensa.

En inglés bretanico, se puede usar 'you lot', pero es un poco informal.

  • I produce/compose Hip Hop, RnB, & Reggaeton. - DJ_Huero Feb 3, 2011 flag
  • Nice! I was quite, mmm, 'amused' by the reggaeton dancing that I saw in Clubs in the Caribbean... - afowen Feb 3, 2011 flag
  • ROFL! Good stuff huh? If you want the best in the industry at the moment, check out Wisin y Yandel, Alexis y Fido, & Don Omar. They're making the biggest moves for now. - DJ_Huero Feb 3, 2011 flag
  • Well, they say that tango is basically having sex standing up, clearly that was said before the advent of reggaeton. I'm not really feeling it myself, there are so many reggaeton and tropipop places in Bogotá, we've just opened a club that plays... - afowen Feb 3, 2011 flag
  • ... no latin music. It´s not that I don't like any latin music, just that there is a good market for those who prefer other stuff... - afowen Feb 3, 2011 flag
0 Vote

My music teacher in Canada once used 'Y'all" to adress us students and he looked so thrilled about it :D He really enjoyed the expressionsmile

0 Vote

We use y'all all of the time. It is considered improper not to use it. How y'all doin' tonight? Table for two?

  • The apostrophe goes infront of the A because it is a contraction of the words "you" and "all". - DJ_Huero Feb 5, 2011 flag
  • As well I added an apostrophe to show the G isn't being pronounced there but that is still the word doing. Just trying to help English learners. Lol, they're in for a treat with all of our regional vernacular. ;) - DJ_Huero Feb 5, 2011 flag
  • Ain't they just !! - ian-hill Feb 5, 2011 flag
0 Vote

I cannot speak for all of us north of the Mason Dixon line, but "y'all" has a hillbilly ring to it and is not consider proper English. I think of Jed Clampet in The Beverly Hillbillies telling the viewers "Y'all come back now, y' hear". What we hear more of is "you'se" or "you'uns" or "you's guys", but this is also not considered proper English. It gives the impression of someone being uneducated or the impression of a 'wise guy'. I picture a character like Vinny in my My Cousin Vinny using an expression such as this. The grammatically correct thing to say is "you", or possibly "you all". In the case of the use of "you", the plurality is to be understood within the context in which it is spoken.


No puedo hablar por todos nosotros que vivimos al norte de la cola de Mason Dixon, pero 'y'all' tiene el sonido de un rústico y no es considerado un uso correcto del inglés. Me da acuerdo de Jed Clampet de The Beverly Hillbillies diciendo a los veedores "Y'all come back now, y 'hear". Lo que oímos más es 'you'se' o 'you'uns' o 'you's guys', pero esos tambien no son considerados uso correctos. Imagino un personaje como Vinny en la película My Cousin Vinny diciendo algo así. Lo correcto es decir 'you' o posiblemente 'you all', se entiende la pluralidad en el contexto en que es hablado.

  • This actually pisses me off. There is no hillbilly ring to ya'll. It is very common and part of everyday colloquial speech. There is no implied hillbillyness as with "you'se" etc... which you might hear if you were in the north. - jeezzle Feb 4, 2011 flag
  • Well Jeezzle, you are entitled to your opinion just as I'm entitled to mine, and where I'm from, 'ya'll' is by no means acceptable. - LKELLY Feb 4, 2011 flag
  • I can't believe Jeezzle is not better understood. The most hillbilly Appalachian speech to be heard is from Western Pennsylvania. - Sabor Feb 4, 2011 flag
  • Amen to that! And for those of us who don't live in the mountains, their speech sounds hillbilly. - LKELLY Feb 4, 2011 flag
  • I think it's been established that everyone is entitled to their opinions. I would just like to ask that we ensure none of us are being hateful to each other. I'm not saying that was any of your ententions, but think before you speak to ensure.... - DJ_Huero Feb 5, 2011 flag
0 Vote

Realmente, usamos "y'all" para el singular. Para el plural usamos "all y'all".

Estoy en acuerdo con DJ. En Los Estados Unidos, solomente una persona muy prejuiciosa rebajaria el uso de "y'all".

In the southern US, to differentiate between singular and plural. They use "y'all" (singular) and "all y'all" (plural). This is only slightly tongue-in-cheek (humorous).

Anyone in the US who would look down on the use of "y'all" could use an attitude adjustment. If farness, all they would need is do is to spend a week "down south" and that good 'ol southern charm would get them to use "y'all" in no time.

0 Vote

I suppose that I am "una persona muy prejuiciosa" because I don't believe that "y'all" is good English. I take offense at this.

But what really annoys me is when a English-learner asks an intelligent question, and he/she receives an inaccurate generalization as an answer.

We use y'all all of the time. It is considered improper not to use it.

It has already been very nicely articulated in this post that the plurality of "you" is very much a regional thing. So, not everyone uses "y'all", and to some the use is improper. In my answer, I qualified my statement saying that I cannot speak for everyone and I gave examples of how the plural you is used in popular media. I'm just stating a fact, and trying to help someone who is trying to learn English. The use of 'y'all' is not commonly accepted across the United States and there will be those who find its use as very poor English.

  • I imagine most anywhere in the world except the southeastern region of the USA (where I'm from), it would be considered hick, red-neck, hillbilly, uneducated, or whatever. However, to those of us from the southeastern USA, it just sounds natural... - webdunce Feb 5, 2011 flag
  • ...welcoming, friendly, disarming, warm, neighborly, etc. However, even here in the southeast, it should not be used in formal business settings (least-wise not around city-slickers ;-)) No offense taken, by the way. Cheers. - webdunce Feb 5, 2011 flag
  • You're as sweet as pecan pie Webdunce. In my various travels in the Southeastern U.S., I have had the pleasure of making the acquantences of some of the kindest, warmest and most hospitable people I have ever know - even if they talked with a twang ;> - LKELLY Feb 5, 2011 flag
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