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  1. #11
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: You lazy bones/You're a lazy bones

    They might have asked "You hungry?". In informal conversation, the initial verb 'are' is sometimes dropped.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  2. #12
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    Default Re: You lazy bones/You're a lazy bones

    Off topic:
    My conversation might go like this:
    Are you supposed to be on the table? No, you're not, pretty girl. So get down off the table (pet pet pet, thus rewarding her behavior) Yes, of course you're a pretty girl. But you don't belong on the table, you naughty kitty (pet pet pet). Okay, down now.

    Resume topic
    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.

  3. #13
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: You lazy bones/You're a lazy bones

    NOT A TEACHER


    Hello, Winwin:

    As you can see from the many replies, you have asked a great question. And the posters have told you how such expressions are used in everyday English. I am more interested in the internal syntax. That is, the grammatical explanation for the phrase "you idiot."

    I did some googling, and I think that the following is accurate:

    1. In "You idiot, sit down and be quiet!" the phrase "You idiot" is not an ellipsis of "You are an idiot."

    2. You already know that in "Tom, come here," "Tom" is called a vocative. That is, you are addressing him directly.

    3. "You idiot" is a different kind of vocative. It is called an evaluative vocative. That is, you make an evaluation

    (judgment) of someone. In the case of "idiot," you have made a negative judgment. Of course, you could also make

    a positive evaluation: "You darling, come here and sit down next to me!"

    4. According to one expert *** in the phrase "You idiot," the subject is "idiot." (Not "you.")

    5. The really difficult part is to understand the use of "you." The experts have different views. It is too difficult for

    me to understand their theories. One scholar says that the "you" is from the prepositional phrase "to you." I cannot

    understand what he is saying.

    6. *** If you wish to read a scholarly article that explains the internal syntax of phrases such as "You idiot," please google:

    Uniformity and Diversity in the Syntax of Evaluative Vocatives Norbert Corver

    *****

    It is a brilliant article. It explores the different ways to analyze the use of "you." As I said, it is too difficult for me to

    understand. By the way -- if I understood what I read -- some other experts may possibly consider "you" in "You idiot" to be

    something like a determiner. Compare: the idiot/ that idiot/ you idiot.

    Thanks again for your intriguing question. I am going to keep thinking about it and googling.


    HAVE A NICE DAY!

  4. #14
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: You lazy bones/You're a lazy bones

    NOT A TEACHER


    I have found four famous experts who seem (repeat: seem) to agree with your analysis of the evaluative vocative

    "You idiot."

    A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Grammar is a very big book written by four world-famous experts. It is widely

    quoted by teachers throughout the world. On page 850 of my 1985 edition, here is what Professors Quirk, Greenbaum,

    Leech, and Svartvik write (I have copied it exactly, including the brackets):

    If the phrase is directed at the person addressed, it may be prefaced by you; eg: You angel! ['You are an

    angel!'], You poor thing!, You idiot!


    *****

    On page 842, they give this example:

    You fool, to forget your wedding anniversary!

    *****

    In my first post, I quoted the opinions of some experts; in this post, I have quoted the opinions of other experts. Of

    course, it really does not matter who is "correct." As the other posters told you, native speakers would usually NOT

    say, "You are an idiot. Why did you forget your wife's birthday?" They would simply say, "You idiot, how could you

    have forgotten your wife's birthday!" or (like the sentence on page 842) "You fool/ idiot, to forget your wife's

    birthday!"


    HAVE A NICE DAY! (Thanks again for the great question!)

  5. #15
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: You lazy bones/You're a lazy bones

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    As the other posters told you, native speakers would usually NOT say, "You are an idiot. Why did you forget your wife's birthday?" They would simply say, "You idiot, how could you have forgotten your wife's birthday!" or (like the sentence on page 842) "You fool/ idiot, to forget your wife's birthday!"
    It's not been made clear whether 'you idiot' is used vocatively, or whether there is an implied verb there. I don't think anyone has suggested that native speakers would usually longer form in situations such as you mention. There are situations in which I think that the shorter, 'vocative', form is the only one likely to be used: "Don't put vinegar on your ice cream, (you) idiot". Compare this with, "Why are you putting vinegar on your ice cream, (you) idiot?" / "Why are you putting vinegar on your ice cream? You're an idiot", in which both are possible and, in my opinion, slightly different.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  6. #16
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    Default Re: You lazy bones/You're a lazy bones

    However, as long as you stick to your own ice-cream and don't even look at mine...
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: You lazy bones/You're a lazy bones

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    "Don't put vinegar on your ice cream, (you) idiot". Compare this with, "Why are you putting vinegar on your ice cream, (you) idiot?" / "Why are you putting vinegar on your ice cream? You're an idiot"
    Asolutely/completely/totally off-topic:

    Maybe it would fit some of these
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  8. #18
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: You lazy bones/You're a lazy bones

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    NOT A TEACHER

    A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Grammar is a very big book written by four world-famous experts. It is widely

    quoted by teachers throughout the world. On page 850 of my 1985 edition, here is what Professors Quirk, Greenbaum,

    Leech, and Svartvik write (I have copied it exactly, including the brackets):

    If the phrase is directed at the person addressed, it may be prefaced by you; eg: You angel! ['You are an

    angel!'], You poor thing!, You idiot!


    *****
    Hi TheParser,

    Thank you very much for your kind replies. You are so great that you could find the relevant grammatical explanation from your grammar book. What is the topic of the following sentences?

    If the phrase is directed at the person addressed, it may be prefaced by you; eg: You angel! ['You are an

    angel!'], You poor thing!, You idiot!


    Thanks again.

    Have a good day!

  9. #19
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: You lazy bones/You're a lazy bones

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post

    What is the topic of the following sentences?

    If the phrase is directed at the person addressed, it may be prefaced by you; eg: You angel! ['You are an

    angel!'], You poor thing!, You idiot!


    Thanks again.

    Have a good day!
    NOT A TEACHER


    Thank you, winwin, for your kind note.

    I am not sure that I understand your question. Are you referring to the professors' book? Well, this information comes

    from a section that they title "Nonsentences."

    Here are some examples of what they mean by "nonsentences":

    a. The clothes she wears!
    b. You and your statistics!
    c. Big Baby!
    d. You idiot!
    e. My hat, please!

    and many more examples.




    HAVE A NICE DAY!
    Last edited by TheParser; 06-Aug-2012 at 17:15.

  10. #20
    tzfujimino's Avatar
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    Default Re: You lazy bones/You're a lazy bones

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    NOT A TEACHER


    Thank you, winwin, for your kind note.

    I am not sure that I understand your question. Are you referring to the professors' book? Well, this information comes

    from a section that they title "Nonsentences."

    Here are some examples of what they mean by "nonsentences":

    a. The clothes she wears!
    b. You and your statistics!
    c. Big Baby!
    d. You idiot!
    e. My hat, please!

    and many more examples.

    Well, I had better stop before I am accused of not staying on the issue of "language."


    HAVE A NICE DAY!
    Hello, TheParser.
    There's nothing wrong with your post.
    You ARE staying on the issue.
    I hope I will be able to learn a lot more from you.

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