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If your American friend says something like "you too, friend" in a situation she or he always says "you too, Gary", can I reasonably infer that the friend holds some opinion against me? I am kind of bothered by the transition.

That I would like to know something about this is because I do not want to make a mistake like this one if it is dubious.

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  • I think it could be taken that way, but context is really important. Could you add a more complete context? You might consider another word (not name) that would imply the same feeling as using "friend". For example, if in context it seems like it could be "jerk", the intent will be more evident.
    – user3169
    Dec 1, 2017 at 6:14
  • @user3169, Thanks for reply. The context is short. I asked the friend of mine about something. He replied and I thanked him with a simple closing wishes. And he said "you too, friend". I could not help but think about the sarcastic implication, haha...
    – Yes
    Dec 1, 2017 at 15:08

1 Answer 1

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Foreigners use "friend" or "my friend" in this way, but native speakers do not. As you suggest, it is possible that this person is being sarcastic or subtly making fun of your English, but I don't think that's the most likely scenario unless you two are hostile toward each other.

More likely they are simply trying to speak the way they think you expect to hear it, just as they are likely avoiding vocabulary that they think you might not understand. I have as associate who is learning English and often says things in a way a native speaker would not. I find myself using the same unnatural phrases with him that he uses because I want what I say to be well-received by him. People often mimic each other's patterns of speech when trying to be friendly, sometimes without noticing.

By the way, in an informal setting, this speech pattern could be used with a different word, typically between men. Like "you too, bro," "you too, dude," or "you too, buddy." I am an educator and often use the latter in informal situations but when I don't remember a (male) student's name. I don't do the same to females because my relationship with them is more formal.

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