Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    857
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default What did you guys order?

    John, David and Peter were eating in a resturant. John asked David and Peter:

    What did you guys order?

    Is it unnatural to say "What did you order?" if we asked both of them? "You" can refer to one person or two people or more. What can we say if we don't use "you guys"?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22,298
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What did you guys order?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    John, David and Peter were eating in a resturant. John asked David and Peter:

    What did you guys order?

    Is it unnatural to say "What did you order?" if we asked both of them? "You" can refer to one person or two people or more. What can we say if we don't use "you guys"?

    Thanks.
    "What did you two order?"

  3. #3
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    857
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What did you guys order?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "What did you two order?"
    Thanks a lot,bhai.

    If we ask ten people or more which we do not know the exact number, how do we say?

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What did you guys order?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    If we ask ten people or more which we do not know the exact number, how do we say?
    We'd be unlikely to ask that question of more than two or three people.
    Last edited by 5jj; 04-Jan-2013 at 13:10. Reason: typo
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  5. #5
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    9,474
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What did you guys order?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    Thanks a lot,bhai.

    If we ask ten people or more which we do not know the exact number, how do we say?
    The number doesn't really matter. As you noted, "you" works for singular or plural.

    You could say "you all" if addressing a group instead of "you guys." (In fact "you all" is contracted as "y'all" and serves as the plural form of you in certain dialects of English in the American south.)

  6. #6
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    857
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What did you guys order?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    The number doesn't really matter. As you noted, "you" works for singular or plural.

    You could say "you all" if addressing a group instead of "you guys." (In fact "you all" is contracted as "y'all" and serves as the plural form of you in certain dialects of English in the American south.)
    Thanks, SoothingDave.

    I read a book written by a non native. The author said "In daily conversation, most of the people won't use "you" to represent plural". Even if there are a few people are here, if one of them says "Do you need this". The "you" mostly works for "singular" only. In order to avoid misunderstanding, the author suggested we use "you guys" to represent plural. What do you think about this?
    Last edited by Winwin2011; 04-Jan-2013 at 13:53.

  7. #7
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    9,474
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What did you guys order?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    Thanks, SoothingDave.

    I read a book written by a non native. The author said "In daily conversation, most of the people won't use "you" to represent plural". Even if there are a few people are here, if one of them says "Do you need this". The "you" mostly works for "singular" only. Is it correct?
    No, it's not correct. What does this author say people use instead of "you"?

  8. #8
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    857
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What did you guys order?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    No, it's not correct. What does this author say people use instead of "you"?
    Thanks again, SoothingDave.

    I edited my post before I read your favourable reply. In order to avoid misunderstanding, should we have to say"you guys" or "you all" or something like that to refer to plural form of you?
    Last edited by Winwin2011; 04-Jan-2013 at 14:09.

  9. #9
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    9,474
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What did you guys order?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    Thanks again, SoothingDave.

    I edited my post before I read your favourable reply. In order to avoid misunderstanding, should we have to say"you guys" or "you all" or something like that to represent plural?
    If you think there would be some misunderstanding, you could. "You guys" is informal.

    You are basically asking if there is some way to make sure that those listening to you understand whether "you" means just one of a group or the entire group.

    As usual, context and other clues helps us. If I am in a meeting and say "you need to sign the attendance sheet" it's clear this applies to all. On the other hand, if I say to John "can you dim the lights?" it would be clear from the events and the eye contact that I am talking to just one person.

  10. #10
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,696
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What did you guys order?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    Thanks, SoothingDave.

    I read a book written by a non native. The author said "In daily conversation, most of the people won't use "you" to represent plural". Even if there are a few people are here, if one of them says "Do you need this". The "you" mostly works for "singular" only. In order to avoid misunderstanding, the author suggested we use "you guys" to represent plural. What do you think about this?
    I suggest that you become suspicious of any book which proposes that "you guys" is somehow acceptable. When I hear this phrase I assume that it is being said by a 14 year old from a school district with low standards.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [General] money order/ purchase order / pay order
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-Jan-2011, 13:36
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Aug-2010, 23:17
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 20-Jun-2009, 14:28
  4. worm guys" ," whim guys " and " brackety
    By zeppy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-Oct-2005, 09:05

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •