In my opinion the English language is sorely in need of a second person plural, “you” is simply not enough. Many languages have it, and the South has found a solution to this grievous problem: y’all. As far as I’m concerned y’all is just another personal pronoun, you is the second person singular, y’all is the second person plural. But… you’ve got to know how to use it, most people don’t.
I’ve been reading a lot lately, and many of the books were set in the south or had southern characters. I get that the easiest way to make a character sound southern is to use “y’all” and “bless her heart” and arcane and/or seldom used colloquialisms like “faster than a dog with his tail on fire” or “longer than a ‘coons age”, but for the love of God can’t these authors just freakin’ do some research before using unfamiliar terminology. When I read y’all used instead of you (singular) it makes me want to rip my teeth out.
So, let’s just review, you can say: Sandy and Bobby, are y’all coming? But you cannot say: Sandy are y’all coming? If you’re only referring to Sandy. (unless you’re asking Sandy if both she and Bobby are coming, but honestly, when in doubt don’t use it!)
Okey dokey. Y’all leave me some comments now, y’hear!
This was too funny. Having lived in the South for a few years I can’t possibly do without my “y’all”. I agree that the English language really needs a plural form as well.