I'm wondering the following conversations, extracted mostly from a comedic video at the following timestamps links: a,In this one it says you walk, no you say, but it's similar concept,c. The phrases go like this, I'm interested in what "you say" means. I think it means the speaker disbelieves the claim made by the other person.

Example 1: -Sorry I can't party I'm busy -You say you're busy

(He thinks it's not busy, but making up an excuse).

Example 2:

-I couldn't wash the car, I have hand pain. -You say you have hand pain.

(He thinks he was lazy or something else, not that he has hand pain, that's he thinks it's just an excuse)

I've seen this question but it says "You say that" as a phrase. I want to know if this is analogous, and if you can point me to some link or reference where it's being used.

  • What you mean that "that" is understood, by who? "That" it's just a word, I understand that word. Your first phrase seems to be the sarcastic "you say" I'm looking for right? Because the guy says it's busy but still goes for pizza. The second phrase, it's that a different usage? Thanks a million, I ask to understand not to put down! Feb 28, 2017 at 16:15
  • “You say (that)” means exactly what it, well, says. It means “you utter the words [XYZ]”. In the examples you give, it seems likely that B does not believe what A says to be the truth; but when B says, “You say”, it is a simple statement of fact. A did say that. I don’t really understand what your question here is. Feb 28, 2017 at 16:25
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I'm more used to the form "You said". I wonder if you can click the links to the video, they are inmediate timestamps to where the guy says those phrases, it doesn't take any time, if you like of course. The guy uses the phrases in a certain way I can't describe. Feb 28, 2017 at 16:41
  • @YosefBaskin Ok, thanks, it's really hard! So the guy it's like saying You have walked here, see, you like doing that, it gives you pleasure but you don't want to admit it or are not admitting it. Feb 28, 2017 at 17:03

2 Answers 2


Yeah okay I think I've got it. The video is a bit of a weird one, and the language structure in it is rare, but does make grammatical sense (even if the guy is being a creep). It is also being used in a sarcastic / mocking form which makes it even more layered - but grammatical construction is clear. Strictly speaking the construction is the imperative, and it is usually used to encourage someone.

Non-mocking example (square brackets indicate words that are optional):

said to a person experimenting with unusual clothing choices:

"[Yeah] you go for it, [you] wear your style!"

Putting 'you' in front of the imperative like this is rare, and I can't think of another example apart from this one very specific 'encouragement' construction. To make it clear that you're using this construction, it is often helpful to emphasise the verb (in this case 'go' and 'wear').

Of course, since the person in the video is mocking, the aim is not encouragement but the opposite, putting them off and creeping them out.

A completely different construction is:

"you say you have hand pain [... but I don't believe you]"

Here 'you say' is a description of what the other person did, to clarify their claim before disputing it.


You say can mean many things depending on context. You say and you say that are the same, with that understood. Usually the words that follow suggest the contradiction: You say you're busy and then go for pizza. Without the argument: You say you're busy, okay, and I still need that report today.

In the video, the teenager is creeping people out. As a pest, he says "You walk here...you do that" to mean something unusual, definitely sarcastic: "Now you walk here ... Now you admit you like it." The youtube tag is "Oh yeah... you watch another one of these videos." This humor is an example of adolescent daring: You say you don't want these free Cosco samples, and you walk over here anyway! – Yosef Baskin just now edit

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