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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    I is!!!

    Dear Friends,

    I have a question I haven't been able to answer. Is it ever possible in English to say "I is" instead of "I am"- apart from using a relative clause?

    I'd be grateful if I could find the solution to the buzzle as soon as possible.

    Many thanx in advance.

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #2

    Re: I is!!!

    Could you give an example of "apart from using a relative clause".

    So these are probably not what you're looking for, right?

    Ex: I is a word that refers to the person who is speaking or writing.
    Ex: I is a capital letter.

  3. queenbu's Avatar
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    • Join Date: Mar 2006
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    #3

    Re: I is!!!

    In a former similar post, I had answered 'I is the ninth letter of the alphabet'.


    • Join Date: Feb 2007
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    #4

    Re: I is!!!

    I'm the fan who is never late for a football match.

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #5

    Re: I is!!!

    Welcome, Riyadh.

    In that example, the relative pronoun who is the subject of the verb is. So, I...is isn't a pair.

    Now, back to your question. When the subject pronoun I refers to a person doing an action or in a state of being it agrees in person and number with the auxiliary verb am, never is. However, if the word I functions as a noun, as in "I is a subject pronoun" then I agrees in person and number with auxiliary is. The reason being, we can replace I with it, the 3rd person pronoun.

    Ex: The word I is a subject pronoun.
    Ex: I is a subject pronoun.
    Ex: It is a subject pronoun.

    A colleague of mine, a descriptivist grammarian, when asked, "How are you?" often responds with "I is fine." It's ungrammatical, yes, and he knows that! which is the very reason he does it. He enjoys watching people's reactions.

    All the best.

  5. #6

    Re: I is!!!

    Ali G uses "I is" phrases very often but just to pretend an ignorant, stupid person who is trying to look "cool".

  6. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #7

    Re: I is!!!

    Additionally, there's internet slang, i'z and i is for I am.

  7. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: I is!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mehmetmamger View Post
    Ali G uses "I is" phrases very often but just to pretend an ignorant, stupid person who is trying to look "cool".
    Ali G's usage apes the African American; Porgy sings 'Bess, you is ma woman now', and Bess sings back 'Porgy, I's your woman now'.

    b

  8. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #9

    Re: I is!!!

    Good example, BobK. African American Vernacular English (AAVE), formerly Ebonics, a "dynamic, distinctive variety--thoroughly intertwined with African American history and linked in many ways with African American literature, education, and social life..."
    What is Ebonics? "Most linguists refer to the distinctive speech of African Americans as 'Black English' or African American English (AAE) or, if they want to emphasize that this doesn't include the standard English usage of African Americans, as 'African American Vernacular English' (AAVE). In theory, scholars who prefer the term Ebonics (or alternatives like African American language) wish to highlight the African roots of African American speech and its connections with languages spoken elsewhere in the Black Diaspora, e.g. Jamaica or Nigeria. But in practice, AAVE and Ebonics essentially refer to the same sets of speech forms."
    Source: LSA: About Linguistics


    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 41
    #10

    Re: I is!!!

    Thank you for your help.
    I've understood that it's not possible in English to say "I is" unless when "I" functions as a noun not a pronoun.
    Many thanx again.

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