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Thread: hey, you

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    #1

    hey, you

    is it different from just "hey"? more inviting?

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: hey, you

    Quote Originally Posted by alikim View Post
    is it different from just "hey"? more inviting?
    It would depend on context and tone of voice. It would be possible to say 'Hey you' in an inviting way (to someone you know very well - 'Hey you - great to see you again!'). But more often than not 'Hey you' sounds aggressive (and may be regarded as impolite: 'Hey you - can't you read? Get off my land.'

    It is often used in this way - perhaps together with some distinguishing feature, to catch the attention of someone you don't know by name: 'Hey, you with the glasses, get out of here. This is private.'

    b

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    #3

    Re: hey, you

    I'm asking about occasions when an email starts with "hey, you" or people greet somebody they know saying "hey, you", so it's definitely not offensive or aggressive or to get attention

    What I'm trying to understand, is it always (a bit) inviting (especially in writing) or depending of your tone it can be neutral?

    On the other hand, if you want just to be neutral, why would you say "hey, you" instead of just "hey"?

    Also, is it only OK to say this to the opposite sex or it doesn't matter?

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    #4

    Re: hey, you

    If this is a good friend, then "Hey, you" is fine. If you don't know the person that well, I would find it a bit aggressive. In speech, it can obviously be softened, but in an e-mail you can't hear the tone used.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #5

    Re: hey, you

    Quote Originally Posted by alikim View Post
    is it different from just "hey"? more inviting?
    It can be. If it's an exchange between friends, then "hey you" can be taken as "warmer" or more friendly than a simple "hey." Quite often those who greet with "hey" are somewhat shy and undemonstrative, and in their minds "hey" is more personal and friendly than just "hi" or "hello." When "hey" turns to "hey, you" it's their version of a hearty handshake or a hug.


    (Oddly enough, I have a boss who lives in a different state and we communicate 90% of the time via email. He is somewhat awkward socially, and for the first year or so that I worked for him his emails had no introductory greeting at all. Once we'd chatted back and forth for a time, both via email and a few times on the phone, his emails to me were suddenly prefaced with "Hey." Major breakthrough - an actual hint at friendliness! When we finally met in person he greeted me with "Hey, you!", which he now uses as a greeting in all our phone and email exchanges. That's about as personal as he gets.)

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    #6

    Re: hey, you

    Quote Originally Posted by alikim View Post
    I'm asking about occasions when an email starts with "hey, you" or people greet somebody they know saying "hey, you", so it's definitely not offensive or aggressive or to get attention

    What I'm trying to understand, is it always (a bit) inviting (especially in writing) or depending of your tone it can be neutral?

    On the other hand, if you want just to be neutral, why would you say "hey, you" instead of just "hey"?

    Also, is it only OK to say this to the opposite sex or it doesn't matter?
    Because, as I and other people have said, it is OK between close friends, I and many other people would regard it as over-familiar (and therefore impolite) in an email. Don't use it, unless you know the recipient well.

    b

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    #7

    Re: hey, you

    thanks guys!

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