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What are y’all talking about?

  • November 1, 2016
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Good grammar day!

Today we’re going to discuss a few words that could have made you worried or even angry. We’re going to discover the word construction ‘y’all.’

‘Y’all’ has still its the place in the dictionary.

Y’all [jˈɔːl] is a simple contraction of you-all [ˈjuːɔːl] (according to the US dialect form)

We use it to refer to more than one person:

  • How are you-all?
  • Where are y’all?
  • Y’all come back, now!
  • See y’all tomorrow.
  • Y’all will need every one of us.

Bye! See y'all tomorrow!

Though we consider it a slang term, we often use it in contemporary speech. Mostly you can hear or even read this word in the US conversation.

Yesterday I found it in an excellent detective story by the American author. I’d like not to mention his name as you might start disliking his oeuvre. Nowadays we may consider this word as a wrong or colloquial one, but this is not obligatory true or false. In our fast speaking, you may pronounce the phrase ‘you all’ very quickly and not notice that. So, I’d like you to find this construction as a new one for you and your vocabulary.

Let’s go further and find out why we may be lost it the discourse while using this phrase.

Don’t confuse ‘y’all’ with ‘yolo’ [ˈjəʊləʊ] an informal abbreviation ‘you only live once.’

Yolo‘ expresses the point of view that one should make the most of the present moment without worrying about the future, is often used as a rationale for impulsive or reckless behavior):

  • I just bought a ticket to the theater in Rome, Italy. Yes, I’ll to travel there tomorrow in the morning, spend there some time before the play and fly back home late at night. But this was my dream since I was a child, and YOLO, right?

Yawl [j_ˈɔː_l], [jˈɔːl], [jˈɔːl] is also a different word.

It is not the y’awl, which is the eye dialect spelling of y’all.

‘Yawl’ means to cry out, yell or howl.

For example:

  • She’s always scared when some wolves yawl in the woods at night.

Now you can be sure that you won’t make a mix of these words and phrases! Good luck in your brave usage of colloquial expressions!

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