Results 1 to 10 of 10
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Mexico
      • Current Location:
      • Mexico

    • Join Date: Apr 2013
    • Posts: 22
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    "What you looking at me for? I didn't come to stay."

    Our class will do something related to Maya Angelou's "I know why the caged bird sings"
    in winter session. I take so much time to read books in English and even if I have read the book,
    it is hard for me to catch up my friends... So I decided to read it properly
    beforehands.
    I opened the book and the first paragraph is below:
    '
    "What you looking at me for? I didn't come to stay."

    I hadn't so much forgot as I couldn't bring myself to remember. Other things were more important.

    "What you looking at me for? I didn't come to stay."

    Whether I could remember the rest of the poem or not was immaterial.
    The truth of the sentence was like a wadded-up hankerchief, sopping wet in my fists, and the sooner
    they accepted it the quicker they could let my hands open and the air would cool my palms. '

    I was so surprised that I've got no idea what this short paragraph means....
    I love reading, but when I read English books I just go blank.
    What pops into your head when you read the above paragraph?
    That is the very first paragraph in the book. Page 1.
    Is 'What you looking at me for?' even grammatically correct?

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 34,253
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: "What you looking at me for? I didn't come to stay."

    "What you looking at me for?" is the causal informal spoken version of "What are you looking at me for?" which means "Why are you looking at me?"
    We frequently use "What ... for" to mean "Why?" or to denote purpose.

    What are you doing that for?
    What's that big red button for?
    I don't know what it's for but I want to press it.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 23,260
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: "What you looking at me for? I didn't come to stay."

    Quote Originally Posted by Elena22 View Post
    Our class will do something related to Maya Angelou's "I know why the caged bird sings"
    in winter session. I take so much time to read books in English and even if I have read the book,
    it is hard for me to catch up my friends... So I decided to read it properly
    beforehands.
    I opened the book and the first paragraph is below:
    '
    "What you looking at me for? I didn't come to stay."

    I hadn't so much forgot as I couldn't bring myself to remember. Other things were more important.

    "What you looking at me for? I didn't come to stay."

    Whether I could remember the rest of the poem or not was immaterial.
    The truth of the sentence was like a wadded-up hankerchief, sopping wet in my fists, and the sooner
    they accepted it the quicker they could let my hands open and the air would cool my palms. '

    I was so surprised that I've got no idea what this short paragraph means....
    I love reading, but when I read English books I just go blank.
    What pops into your head when you read the above paragraph?
    That is the very first paragraph in the book. Page 1.
    Is 'What you looking at me for?' even grammatically correct?
    "What you looking at me for?" is grammatically OK in Black American English. It's grammatically wrong in standard English.
    As far as the wider question goes, I can't distinguish your questions from the paragraph. So it's hard to guess.
    Have you done any research on this author?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Mexico
      • Current Location:
      • Mexico

    • Join Date: Apr 2013
    • Posts: 22
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: "What you looking at me for? I didn't come to stay."

    Oh I meant after reading them I can't visualize what is going on in the paragraph.
    I read the paragraph out loud but actually it is just reading words out, not really getting them... :(
    And yes, I've watched Oprah interviewing her and gone through wikipedia.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,135
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: "What you looking at me for? I didn't come to stay."

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    "What you looking at me for?" is grammatically OK in Black American English. It's grammatically wrong in standard English.
    I wouldn't say it was wrong these days.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 23,260
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: "What you looking at me for? I didn't come to stay."

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I wouldn't say it was wrong these days.
    It's not a correct English sentence though. There's no finite verb. It might be acceptable to some as a fragment. The "are" could be very minimal, but I can't imagine myself ever leaving it out.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Mexico
      • Current Location:
      • Mexico

    • Join Date: Apr 2013
    • Posts: 22
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    Re: "What you looking at me for? I didn't come to stay."

    Was the girl who is speaking reading a poem?

  5. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,135
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8

    Re: "What you looking at me for? I didn't come to stay."

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    It's not a correct English sentence though. There's no finite verb.
    What are you looking at me for?
    Why are you looking at me?
    Where do you come from?

    Don't we have finite verbs in those sentences?

  6. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 23,260
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #9

    Re: "What you looking at me for? I didn't come to stay."

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    What are you looking at me for?
    Why are you looking at me?
    Where do you come from?

    Don't we have finite verbs in those sentences?
    Sure we do.
    But we don't have one in "What you looking at me for?", which the sentence we're discussing. If you believe there's a finite verb there, what is it?

  7. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,135
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #10

    Re: "What you looking at me for? I didn't come to stay."

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Sure we do.
    But we don't have one in "What you looking at me for?", which the sentence we're discussing. If you believe there's a finite verb there, what is it?

Similar Threads

  1. "didnít use◊" and "used not√"
    By Odessa Dawn in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-Jan-2013, 15:38
  2. [Idiom] What does "stay upright" mean?
    By qortnwls0328 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 17-Jul-2012, 10:33
  3. [General] usage of "stay away"
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 29-Apr-2010, 19:13
  4. "stay home" and "stay at home"
    By bluepinky in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-May-2008, 15:45
  5. "stay put"
    By jctgf in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Apr-2008, 01:12

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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