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View Full Version : Possessive of Y'all



Jperez6
03-17-2015, 11:42 PM
Whether or not you think it's a word, what is the possessive form of y'all? Y'all's looks awkward, but it's all I've got. Y'alls would just be multiple of y'all.

Don't get me started on "all y'all's". I'm of those that has inherited this dialect, and I'm proud of it, but looking at it on paper makes me want to cringe...

Kylabelle
03-17-2015, 11:57 PM
Y'all's.

I'm from there. Stop cringing.

:D

Yes, it looks weird, but, what can you do?

Maryn
03-18-2015, 12:06 AM
I concur. "I've got y'all's dinner." Looks awful, but that's exactly how they'd say it.

Oh, and plural? Y'alls's. "Y'alls's summer trips make me want to travel."

Maryn, Texas veteran

CAMueller
03-18-2015, 12:12 AM
Y'all's.

I'm from there. Stop cringing.

:D

Yes, it looks weird, but, what can you do?

Seconded.

ironmikezero
03-18-2015, 12:15 AM
With tongue firmly in cheek...

Awkward or not Y'all's is the possessive and the colloquial contraction...

"Y'all's attitude needs sum 'justment, y'heah?"

"Bubba, y'all's fixin to git a whuppin', boy!"

... and of course, the third person plural would be Y'alls, or more properly all o' y'all...

"I dun tol' y'alls - don't wake me lessen the house is afire!"

"Bubba, hol' m'beer, an' all o' y'all watch this!"

If it's in dialogue, cringe not... Y'all go on now an' plow that field an' see what sprouts.

Writing dialect in dialogue can be challenging, but flavorful and eminently rewarding. Remember to keep it in dialogue (to include internal musings) and avoid crossing the threshold of your prose.

King Neptune
03-18-2015, 12:15 AM
What else could it be?

SKPatterson
03-18-2015, 12:22 AM
Whether or not you think it's a word, what is the possessive form of y'all? Y'all's looks awkward, but it's all I've got. Y'alls would just be multiple of y'all.

Don't get me started on "all y'all's". I'm of those that has inherited this dialect, and I'm proud of it, but looking at it on paper makes me want to cringe...

Is "Yall's" actually used in every day language? I always thought "Ya'll" could be both singular and plural. As a Canadian, I'm not too familiar with this slag, instead I am well acquainted with using "eh," in my writing ... :S

Chase
03-18-2015, 12:28 AM
Don't know any Texans, but I know some sailors, and "water broke over the bow and through the fo'c'sle's portholes" is beautiful rather than awkward.

So's y'all's examples above. :D

Maggie Maxwell
03-18-2015, 12:31 AM
Is "Yall's" actually used in every day language? I always thought "Ya'll" could be both singular and plural. As a Canadian, I'm not too familiar with this slag, instead I am well acquainted with using "eh," in my writing ... :S

Yep, it's common Southern slang. It's basically a contraction of "you all" so it's always supposed to refer to groups of at least two. It feels awkward to use for one person.

Jperez6
03-18-2015, 12:32 AM
Glad to see that I'm not the only one who thought it looked weird. But as long as it's right, I'll carry on like that.

Thanks y'all :)

Chase
03-18-2015, 12:32 AM
Is "Yall's" actually used in every day language? I always thought "Ya'll" could be both singular and plural. As a Canadian, I'm not too familiar with this slag, instead I am well acquainted with using "eh," in my writing ... :S

I'm sure you're right about plural, but the "y'all's" in question is possessive, eh? :D

Jperez6
03-18-2015, 12:37 AM
Is "Yall's" actually used in every day language? I always thought "Ya'll" could be both singular and plural. As a Canadian, I'm not too familiar with this slag, instead I am well acquainted with using "eh," in my writing ... :S

Just about one hundred miles south of here, at my old school in VA, my teachers used to use y'all with regularity. It was a bit of a shock, moving to western Maryland where the southerners are kind of scattered. Those were some tough english classes...

Kylabelle
03-18-2015, 12:48 AM
My mother always insisted that the educated person did not say "y'all" but instead said "you all" which was perfectly correct, unlike the term used by those Yankees, "you guys." She would say, "I am not a guy!"

:D

ironmikezero
03-18-2015, 12:57 AM
I'm sure you're right about plural, but the "y'all's" in question is possessive, eh? :D

It can be... but, as always, context is everything.

"Shaddap! Y'all's momma's on d' phone an' I cain't hear wichur dayum caterwaulin'!"

(^ possessive)

"Hey, y'alls tol' me y' wouldn't laugh at m' new tattoo - whut's wrong w'chu?"

(^ plural)

"Damn y'all - now y'alls' butts gonna git kicked!"

(^ plural possessive)

chompers
03-18-2015, 01:09 AM
But I do sometimes say "all of y'all (e.g. I wouldn't mind if all of y'all gave me a million dollars each)." Haha, I realize, looking at it, that it's basically redundant, but hey, it's correct, dammit. Haha.

Jperez6
03-18-2015, 01:17 AM
"Damn y'all - now y'alls' butts gonna git kicked!"

(^ plural possessive)

Not that it's relevant (or that I have any business asking), but would there ever be a need for the plural possessive? Y'all is inclusive -- I can't naturally speak of more than one group of y'all.

chompers
03-18-2015, 01:26 AM
Not that it's relevant (or that I have any business asking), but would there ever be a need for the plural possessive? Y'all is inclusive -- I can't naturally speak of more than one group of y'all. Yes, there are times when it would be used as plural possessive, even though it's plural already. But I guess think of it like they become singular in that case, like a group of people is singular, even though it's comprised of multiple people. Does that make sense? Yes, "y'all" is a tricky word to use if you're not familiar with it.

Maryn
03-18-2015, 01:39 AM
In the example I gave--its punctuation corrected, thanks to Chase!--y'alls's is a plural possessive even though y'all is already plural.

Y'alls's summer trips make me want to travel would mean the different summer travels of each person in the group of you all make me want to travel. If all of the people who make up y'all went on the same trip, I'd say y'all's summer trip makes me want to travel.

I never had the Texas accent, but it took me close to a decade to completely drop y'all and all its forms.

Maryn

Beachgirl
03-18-2015, 04:40 AM
As a Native Texan (yes, both words must be capitalized, per the official Texan's Code of Conduct rules), y'all and its variations can be tricky even for those of us who grew up with it.

This thread is reminding me that six years as a Florida resident, surrounded by Northern snowbirds, has not diminished my thick Texas accent.

mccardey
03-18-2015, 04:44 AM
I once had a rep comment from here that had a y'alls's in it. It was my fave rep for quite a while. I used to show it to people. We all loved it.

polybisang
03-18-2015, 05:04 AM
I can't stop cringing. It sounds natural but looks extremely weird.


Yep, it's common Southern slang. It's basically a contraction of "you all" so it's always supposed to refer to groups of at least two. It feels awkward to use for one person.

I've heard it used for a single person from my grandmother instead of "yo" I don't know why she uses it in that context but it sounds natural coming from her.

"Get all y'all thangs from o' der an' sit 'em right her'."

And this is why I can never write southern slang, no matter how natural it is to me.

KidCassandra
03-18-2015, 05:24 AM
I love putting y'all into further contractions. The best word in the English Language is, in my North Carolinian opinion, y'all'd've. Like, "Y'all'd've done the same thing." Say what you want about southern slang, but we're efficient. That's four words in one.

pandaponies
03-18-2015, 05:25 AM
I'm from southern Alabama (the ~Deep South~). We NEVER say "y'alls's" there, and IMO the plural possessive is always "y'all's" since I'd never write "you alls' steaks are gonna burn" (it'd be "you all's steaks are gonna burn; "all" and "you all" are collective).

But in any case, usage varies regionally.

Ari Meermans
03-18-2015, 05:34 AM
Yeah, Lousiana, Arkansas, and Texas ratcheer. :D I use y'all and y'all's even here on AW. I've never heard or used y'alls's. So I'm thinking it could be a regional thang.

Maryn
03-18-2015, 05:58 PM
I picked it up in Austin.

lizo27
03-18-2015, 06:06 PM
All y'all who said it's "y'all's" are correct. And since all y'all're doing such a fine job of demonstrating the proper use of y'all and all its derivatives, I'm gonna mosey on by and let y'all continue what y'all've been doing.