Why is it “How are you” and not “how is you”

Spread the love

Why is it “How are you” and now “how is you”

Hello Again,

So, our bone of contention for today is the popular usage of ‘how are you’ as rather it’s supposedly meant to be ‘how is you’. Let’s quickly get one thing quite clear here, the usage overtime has solidify and validates the use of ‘How are you’ which left ‘how is you’ out of the right, but this should not go down without an analysis and as to this is the reason why we are making this post, so anyone had understand the reason behind it.

To start with “YOU” is a second person pronoun because it literally point to another person in the speech, conversation or debate of any sort, it most time direct from the first speaker to the second. for example, see statement 1 and statement 2 : (statement one) I’d say ” you are the one” this looks more closely than saying (statement two)  “he is the one”, the second statement is already pointing to the third person other than the person talking or the second person.

Now, one has to understand that, the fact that I can use ‘YOU’ as singular directing it to one person, so as it could be use as plural directing it to lot of persons for example :

Example 1 : YOU are the one (Singular because it is directed to one person) (Singular second person)

Example 2 : You people Are the one (Plural because of ‘people’) (Plural second person)

See also  One of the following is generally referred to as the first executive president in Nigeria

From the above examples, the example 1 is singular while example 2 is plural, naturally it is suppose in English language that you automatically by default concords with an ‘ARE’ this luxury is not available in the third person pronoun as the singular version is different from plural version, for example :

Example 1 : He is cute ( “he” is singular third person pronoun)

Example 2 : They are cute (“They” is plural third person pronoun)

Unlike that of the second person pronoun which the singular and plural is same thing the third person changes which give a clear ground, the logic behind “HOW ARE YOU” and why it isn’t “HOW IS YOU” are a number, The answers include, ‘YOU‘ can be either plural or singular semantically, but grammatically it is always plural.

Also, another reason suppose that As far as the grammar part is concerned

The plural of FIRST Personal Pronoun I …


The singular and plural of SECOND Personal Pronoun …


The plural of THIRD Personal Pronoun HE/SHE …


WE.… YOU.…and THEY are followed by the verb ARE.….. off-shoot of the principal verb BE.

The interrogative sentence will be……


The person speaking does not say this sentence to seek some information.

It is simply a form of courteous greeting !!

Another Supposition is that normally when we speak to a person we use “are”. When we speak of things we use “is”.Example 1 :

How is this?

what is this? etc.

Example 2 :

How are you?

where are they?

In conclusion despite “HOW IS YOU” should be the best suitable word to use when using “YOU” for one person, it has been erroneously suppose that it against the rule of Grammar and native usage. although some areas in the United Kingdom, United State (Boston, New York, Philadelphia), Jamaica pluralises their use as “YOUSE” for example :
1. Youse guys are humorously cute, are youse some sort of clowns
2. Wasn’t it Youse guys I saw at the pool party
Thanks for stopping by, I’d see you around 

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

WC Captcha 35 ÷ 7 =