Percy Weasley stuck his head through the door, looking disapproving. He had clearly gotten halfway through unwrapping his presents as he, too, carried a lumpy sweater over his arm, which Fred seized.  "P for prefect! Get it on, Percy, come on, we're all wearing ours, even Harry got one."  "I — don't — want —" said Percy thickly, as the twins forced the sweater over his head, knocking his glasses askew.  "And you're not sitting with the prefects today, either," said George. "Christmas is a time for family." They frog-marched Percy from the room, his arms pinned to his side by sweater.

—J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Is 'you' here used as 'generalized' you, (everyone in general), not specified someone? So George's word implies "We're not going to stay with the prefect, Percy"?

  • 1
    No, George is addressing him. A generalized form would use a different verb structure. "You don't sit with the prefects today" meaning "One does not sit with the prefects today." Compare : "You don't stay cooped up indoors on a beautiful day like today." versus "You're not staying cooped up indoors on a beautiful day like today."
    – TimR
    Jul 22, 2017 at 9:50
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo I'm sorry but addressing who? Percy? Then I don't understand what the sentence means. Is Geroge saying "you shouldn't stay with other prefects, Percy. Because it's christmas and it's a day for family."? Then Percy has to stay where he is now, because he is their family. But the Weasley twins frog marched him outside? Is Geroge making fun of his brother?
    – dbwlsld
    Jul 22, 2017 at 10:33
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo Is "sit with" in this sentence mean just "stay" or "hang with"?
    – dbwlsld
    Jul 22, 2017 at 10:36
  • 1
    "Sitting with" means "sitting with at dinner". Jul 22, 2017 at 11:37
  • Addressing Percy. To explain what is going on in terms of the family relationships is outside the scope of this site. Our focus here is only on the language.
    – TimR
    Jul 22, 2017 at 13:14

1 Answer 1


Having read the book, you should know that Percy is a prefect at Hogwarts school and is portrayed as a pompous guy, unlike the rest of his family. George, his brother, is telling Percy that although he (Percy) supposedly wants to sit with the other prefects (as he usually does), his brothers (George, Fred, and Ron) expect him to sit with them this time.

"Either" in this case means "also" or "in addition to what I just said". It does not suggest that someone else is not going to sit with the prefects.

It is a likely interpretation that George is making fun of his brother.

  • Thanks so much, but you said "George, Fred, and Ron expect him to sit with 'them' this time". Then why do they frog marched percy outside? I thought they were making him leave the room (for fun). but it doesn't make sense considering they said Percy's gonna have to sit with 'them' today. Then are they all going outside dinner 'together'?
    – dbwlsld
    Jul 26, 2017 at 22:51
  • I suggest that you continue reading the book. You will probably be able to understand the situation better than whatever we explain here. Jul 27, 2017 at 5:47
  • Unfortunately that's the end of this chapter and the story goes on. that's why I kept asking questions here..:( But thanks anyway!
    – dbwlsld
    Jul 27, 2017 at 6:29
  • perfect at Hogwarts ==> prefect at Hogwarts but it is only 1 letter change edit, so... Jul 3, 2018 at 23:27

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