Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: I say (there).

  1. englishhobby's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 1,215
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    I say (there).

    In the Webster Online Dictionary I have found the following use of the verb "say":

    2 — used to attract the attention of someone ▪ I say (there). Can you help me?
    Is the phrase "I say (there)" widely used both in the USA and Britain to attract someone's attention ?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Twi
      • Home Country:
      • Bhutan
      • Current Location:
      • Tuvalu

    • Join Date: Jun 2011
    • Posts: 124
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: I say (there).

    The Oxford Advanced Dictionary referes to 'I say' as old-fashioned British English.


    Not a teacher or native!

  2. Grumpy's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,010
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: I say (there).

    Not for the past 50 years or so, in the UK at least. Anyone who did so nowadays would probably receive a very rude response, and be regarded as what is known as an "upper class twit".
    It has been replaced in polite circles with "Excuse me"; and in less polite circles with "Oi - you!"
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 11,147
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: I say (there).

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    In the Webster Online Dictionary I have found the following use of the verb "say":

    Is the phrase "I say (there)" widely used both in the USA and Britain to attract someone's attention ?
    No, not at all. "Excuse me" or "Sir/ma'am/miss" or even (impolite) "hey!"

  3. englishhobby's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 1,215
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: I say (there).

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
    Not for the past 50 years or so, in the UK at least. Anyone who did so nowadays would probably receive a very rude response, and be regarded as what is known as an "upper class twit".
    It has been replaced in polite circles with "Excuse me"; and in less polite circles with "Oi - you!"
    Thanks, Grumpy. And if "I say" is dated, would it be all right if I addressed a friend suggesting some activity like this: "Listen / Look here, Pat, (let's have a snack)"?
    Here's a similar (as I view it) example from the dictionary:
    Listen, we really need to sort out our insurance claim this weekend.
    Last edited by englishhobby; 20-Sep-2013 at 09:23.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 4,949
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: I say (there).

    Both "listen" and "look here" are rather serious, and would signify an intent to deal with some professional matter or other non-leisure issue.

Posting Permissions

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