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Thread: both/ both of

  1. #11
    Steven D's Avatar
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    Default Re: both/ both of

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    Both of you are right. (Correct)
    You both are right. (Correct)
    You are both right. (Correct)

    I feel a bit frustrated(no bother at all, I mean) when explaining why this doesn't sound natural.
    "Both you are right."
    Is there anyone can tell? :)
    This is an interesting question. I'd like to see if I can help here.

    When "both" functions as a subject in combination with a pronoun, it is followed by "of" and the pronoun is an object pronoun.

    When "both" functions as a word that modifies - determiner or quantifier - then, of course, it would not be followed by "of".

    Thus, it would not sound natural to say "Both you are right." It sounds more natural to say "Both of you are right."

    It could also sound unnatural because given that "both" can function as a pronoun, maybe it doesn't sound quite right when used to modify a pronoun, even though as a modifier it would not be a pronoun.

    Thus, once again, we can say that "both of you" sounds better than "both you".

    Both of you are right. - That's good.

    Both you are right. - That seems a bit odd to me, but still kind of okay.

    I checked Google, and it seems that "both" and "you" do not occur in that way. They do occur side by side, but not in the way that they do in your example sentence.

    We could say, "Both David and Steven are right." There we have the same grammatical form, but we don't have "both" modifying a pronoun.

    Now, let's think about this: "Both of us are right." okay - However, "Both us are right." not okay. Using "you" with "both" can sound tricky because "you" is both an object pronoun and a subject pronoun.

    Compare again:

    Both of them are right. - okay

    Both them are right. - not okay

    Does that clear things up at all?

  2. #12
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    Default Re: both/ both of

    What about?

    both of my parents
    both my parents

    All the best, 8)

  3. #13
    Steven D's Avatar
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    Default Re: both/ both of

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    What about?

    both of my parents
    both my parents

    All the best, 8)

    Those are fine.

    It works either way with a noun. It wouldn't make a difference if the noun is modified by a possessive adjective, or any adjective for that matter.

    Both shirts look good.

    Both blue shirts look good.

    Both of your blue shirts look good.

    Both your blue shirts look good.


    :)

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    Default Re: both/ both of

    Quote Originally Posted by X Mode
    Now, let's think about this: "Both of us are right." okay - However, "Both us are right." not okay. Using "you" with "both" can sound tricky because "you" is both an object pronoun and a subject pronoun.
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    You are both correct. ('both' defines 'You' as separate indiviudals within a pair i.e., you and you)

    Could be tricky as it is.

    1.You and you both are correct. :D
    2.You both are correct. :D

    3.Both you and you are correct. :D
    4.Both you are correct.
    Here, in example sentence, 'you' is taken as a subject instead.


    This is how I see it if I have to interprete in a more logical way instead of what-could-be prescriptive rules. I see what you mean. And do you get mine?

  5. #15
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    Default Re: both/ both of

    1.You and you both are correct. - I wouldn't use that sentence. I would replace "you and you" with names.

    2.You both are correct. - This sentence is good.

    3.Both you and you are correct. - I wouldn't use this sentence either. I would replace the "you and you" with names.

    4.Both you are correct. Here, in example sentence, 'you' is taken as a subject instead. <<<

    Sentence number four isn't possible. We can't use "both you" as the subject. Neither can we say "Both they are correct." However, we can say "Both of them are correct."

    How's that?

    :) 8) :)


  6. #16
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    1. Both you are right. - not okay

    2. Both they are right. - not okay

    3. You both are right. - okay

    4. They both are right. - okay

    5. You are both right. - okay

    6. They are both right. - okay


    blacknomi,

    I think it's just a word order issue we are dealing with here. Does this make sense to you? It simply appears that we don't use "both" before a subject pronoun. It can come after, but not before. I never noticed that before. Now I notice it.


  7. #17
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    I think reading the Dictionary.com notes will help.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=8&q=both


    Check out Cambridge Online too.

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/defi...&dict=CALD

  8. #18
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    Default Re: both/ both of

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    Quote Originally Posted by X Mode
    Now, let's think about this: "Both of us are right." okay - However, "Both us are right." not okay. Using "you" with "both" can sound tricky because "you" is both an object pronoun and a subject pronoun.
    Could be tricky as it is.

    1.You and you both are correct. :D
    2.You both are correct. :D

    3.Both you and you are correct. :D
    4.Both you are correct.
    Here, in example sentence, 'you' is taken as a subject instead.

    This is how I see it if I have to interprete in a more logical way instead of what-could-be prescriptive rules. I see what you mean. And do you get mine?
    I agree.

    "you" might appear to have a dual function: object of "of" and subject of "are", but it doesn't.

    Both of you are correct. (Subject; Object)

    Appearances can be deceiving. "you" has one function: the object of the preposition "of". It's the adjectival phrase "Both of you" that functions as the subject. :wink:

    Example sentences 1., 2., and 3. are OK in my opinion. Names would be nice/polite/more desirable. For example:

    Teacher: OK. Both (Oops, I forgot their names) you and you are correct.

    Give sentence 4., below, the ungrammaticallity can be attributed to the position of the pronoun 'you'. It appears to be functioning as a noun, in that it's directly modified by an adjective:

    4. Both you are correct. (Not OK)

    Note that, 'you', a pronoun, cannot be directly modified by an adjective. That's why "of" is required. Also note, There is a marked difference between a noun phrase and an adjectival phrase:

    A. Noun Phrase: Adjective + Noun (e.g., Both books)
    B. Adjective Phrase: Adjective + Preposition + Object (e.g., Both of you)

    EX: Both books are on the table. (Noun Phrase)
    EX: Both of you are correct. (Adjective Phrase)

    --------------
    In short, "of" is required when prenominal "Both" modifies one pronoun:

    EX: Both of you are correct.
    EX: Both of them are correct.

    "of" is not required when prenominal "Both" modifies two or more (pro)nouns (i.e., when it functions as a conjunction),

    EX: Both you and Sam are correct.
    EX: Both Sam and you are correct.
    EX: Both you and you are correct.

    All the best, :D

  9. #19
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    Default Re: both/ both of

    Quote Originally Posted by X Mode
    1.You and you both are correct. - I wouldn't use that sentence. I would replace "you and you" with names.

    3.Both you and you are correct. - I wouldn't use this sentence either. I would replace the "you and you" with names.

    Sentence number four isn't possible. We can't use "both you" as the subject. Neither can we say "Both they are correct." However, we can say "Both of them are correct."

    How's that?

    :) 8) :)

    I wouldn't either. That was an example inspired by Cas, I just made it up and tried to sniff if there's any clue to form 'both you' and 'you both.' And I also found my deduction that rules applied to the following work well.
    1.You and you both are correct.
    2.You both are correct.
    while failed when applied to the other set.
    3.Both you and you are correct.
    4.Both you are correct.

    Students came to me one day and asked for reseasonable reasons, I could tell from their sad face when they heard the answer as it is, 'both you' doesn't work!

    :D

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by X Mode

    blacknomi,
    I think it's just a word order issue we are dealing with here. Does this make sense to you? It simply appears that we don't use "both" before a subject pronoun. It can come after, but not before. I never noticed that before. Now I notice it.


    So did I. Thanks to my LOVELY students whose questions make my brain and yours work hard.

    Glad both you and Cas notice it.

    :wink:

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