1

Is the pleonastic use of a pronoun after a name correct? Is it used to convey a specific tone to the sentence? Is it used at all by native speakers?

Take for example this verse from the song Only the good die young (Iron Maiden), a variation on the (more correct) sentence "Time waits for no man".

Time, it waits for no man

I find myself using this construction quite often, for example in sentences like

Then we split up: I went shopping for groceries; Mel, Frank and Tina, they went to the zoo.

Is this construction Name + Pronoun acceptable, at least in spoken English?

Has this phenomenon a technical name?

  • It is definitely used colloquially but I would not use it formally. It's like a way of emphasizing the subject. – stangdon Feb 7 '18 at 12:21
1

The use of additional pronouns is perfectly acceptable as long as it's understandable.

In your example

Time, it waits for no man.

"It" emphasizes the singularity of "time" and might be expected since the usual quote is

Time and tide wait for no man.

However, one would not usually say

Time and tide they wait for no man.

Whereas if you were speaking to a friend and wanted to emphasize Susan, you might say

Well Susan, (what) she said...

  • I wouldn't say it's perfectly acceptable in speech - it sounds a bit too highbrow and poetic if you're just saying how your day was. In song lyrics or prose, though, it's definitely acceptable. – Maciej Stachowski Feb 7 '18 at 21:37

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.