A man made big noise to rouse a Giant and the Giant rushed from his cave, crying:

" You incorrigible villain, are you come here to disturb my rest?"

This is from English Fairy Tales.

I wonder if "are you come" is correct because I learned " Do you come" or " Are you coming" are correct. Could you teach me?


It's "correct" but outdated. You'd be hard pressed to find someone using it in modern English.

The modern equivalent would be "have you come here".

In this example, the Giant is asking the man why he's come to the Giant's home.

| improve this answer | |
  • I wish it could be more helpful... I wasn't able to find any similar examples and it's difficult to prove that it's not used any more... hopefully someone will be able to give a better idea... or if you really want to understand the old usage and why it's not used any more, I'm sure it's something you could ask about on ELU. – Catija Aug 18 '16 at 19:07
  • 2
    @Catija - For what it's worth, you'd also be hard-pressed to find anyone saying "incorrigible villain" nowadays, too. – J.R. Aug 18 '16 at 20:22
  • 1
    I am so characterized, daily, by my offspring. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Aug 18 '16 at 22:00
  • The phrase "Are they come yet?" appears in the dramatic works of Francis Beaumont (1584 – 6 March 1616). Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (1821) quotes the line Is he come yet ? Lord, what a long night 'tis ! in a LitCrit piece on the old English comedies entitled Eastward Hoe. The English translation of the Greek scriptures has are you come here to torment us before the time? – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Aug 18 '16 at 22:07
  • @Catija This seems to have been an exclusively literary/dramatic device even in Elizabethan times. I can't imagine a fishmonger along the Thames in 1530 saying to a thief: "Are you come to filch a flounder?" – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Aug 18 '16 at 22:24

"Have you come" / "are you come" are present perfect construction, in question form. Early Modern English used forms of "to have" (have/has) and "to be" (am/is/are) as the auxiliary verb, possibly with a distinction of meaning between the choices. But using "to be" has gone out of style. It crops up in old literature, or new literature trying to sound old.

Old German has ties to Old English. In modern German, most verbs use a form of "haben" ("to have") (habe/hast/hat) to make present-perfect, but a few use "sein" ("to be") (bin/bist/ist/sind/seid).

The Wikipedia article on present perfect gives several examples using "to be" that are not in question form.

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." –Jesus

(Matthew 5:17, KJV)

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.