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    #1

    Saw you him? - What sort of English would it be

    My question is aimed specifically at English native speakers.

    If you hear/read this question - Saw you him? - what would be your reaction? Mistake? Very old fashioned? Barbarian?

    And would your perception differ whether you actually read it or just hear it?

    Thank you in advance.

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    #2

    Re: Saw you him? - What sort of English would it be

    Perhaps you know that a native speaker would most likely say, "Did you see him?"

    "You saw him?" "Was it him you saw?" "Was he the one you saw?" are other possibilities.

    "Saw you him?" would be very old fashioned and/or a poor translation from another language where word order is different than in English.

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    #3

    Re: Saw you him? - What sort of English would it be

    Great that you mentioned "very old fashioned" as this question is actually from Romeo and Juliet

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Saw you him? - What sort of English would it be

    Quote Originally Posted by shatilof View Post
    Great that you mentioned "very old fashioned" as this question is actually from Romeo and Juliet
    It would be so VERY useful if people asking questions would give the source and/or context of their questions.

    Our default assumptions are that the person posting wants modern and natural phrasing.
    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.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Saw you him? - What sort of English would it be

    I'm intrigued to know what, if anything, someone would consider to be "barbarian" English!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Saw you him? - What sort of English would it be

    Me Tarzan, you Jane!
    ?
    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.

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    #7

    Re: Saw you him? - What sort of English would it be

    Sorry for being a bit misleading, but the whole point is/was to ask for an "at first sight" opinion. I am just trying to understand why English has besome so consruction based and, well, stiff to some extent, when about 450 years ago it seemed as flexible as Russian, for example.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Saw you him? - What sort of English would it be

    I would say that, to our modern ear, old English sounds stilted and stiff.

    Saw you him?
    Ate you dinner?
    Canst thou not see it, my liege?

    There was little scope for "chatty" English and frequently there was only one way to say something.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: Saw you him? - What sort of English would it be

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I would say that, to our modern ear, old English sounds stilted and stiff.

    Saw you him?
    Ate you dinner?
    Canst thou not see it, my liege?

    There was little scope for "chatty" English and frequently there was only one way to say something.
    Sure, but the Shakespearian English did seem to have everything the modren version has including auxiliaries - Do you bite your thumb at us, sir? - plus what I call flexibility meaning lack of need to use every grammar rule

  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Saw you him? - What sort of English would it be

    I rather like "Canst thou not see it?". It sounds quite poetic to me when compared with "Can't you see it?".

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