Here you are.

"Here you are." means "I give it to you" in my understanding. But it is not easy for me to get this meaning from the sentence construction. So, how does the meaning parsed according to its sentence construction?

  • 1
    Nobody knows. It is an idiomatic expression.
    – QuentinUK
    Feb 20, 2014 at 4:08
  • 1
    @Quentin - That is right; but it would be more helpful if you replaced "nobody knows" with a definition of idiom - for instance, that at OALD, 1. Feb 20, 2014 at 13:26
  • Actually, people know. But that's definitely a Study of English Language thing. On ELL your answer is "That's an idiom." Now for asking for origins and etymology of an idiom, you should ask on the scholarly site.
    – SF.
    Jun 2, 2014 at 14:13
  • Parsing an elliptic sentence does not make much sense. I guess the formula was used by servants at table and was "Here you are served" when placing food or drink on the table.
    – rogermue
    Dec 7, 2015 at 17:15

4 Answers 4


You're right about the meaning. It basically means "this is for you" or "here, have this".

As for what each part of the phrase means, unfortunately it's just an idiomatic phrase that doesn't mean anything except as a whole. In other European languages there's one word to encompass the whole expression, for example in French "Voilà".

In English there is a phrase here you are (you can also say here you go) rather than a single word, but it conveys a single meaning nevertheless. The constituent parts just don't have a meaning in this context. If you're interested in the history of the phrase (which might explain the original grammatical structure) it might be worth asking on English Language & Usage.


This question is broad and here you are can be used in many ways. However, let's see some common uses -

This is the commonest one: you use here you are when you do a favor for or give something to someone. This is generally done to draw attention to what you're doing.

a) here you are (phrase) - Said when you hand something over to someone or do a favour to them, usually to draw the recipient's attention to the exchange; equivalent to "thank you" when receiving something.

There's no concrete evidence of its origin I could find on the Internet but then this is generally done to draw attention to the action might explain its construction.

For example, let's say you are my neighbor and asked me for a drill. I went to look and found one somewhere in my store room. I then go to find you to hand it over. To draw your attention, I say, "Ah, here you are! [And so here is your drilling machine]."

However, in another way, it can also be used to say that someone is physically present.

b) "I challenged you that I'd make you visit my office in the next 24 hours and here you are (physically present)!

The phrase there you are can be substituted for "here you are" as used in example a). But note that it cannot be substitued for "here you are" as used in in example b)

There could be many other uses as well.

  • 4
    You are giving the meaning but not explaining it. He already knows the meaning but doesn't understand why "Here you are." = "Here's what you asked for."
    – QuentinUK
    Feb 20, 2014 at 9:53
  • I feel it should also be said that there you are can be used with the meaning of physical presence. For instance: "Wherever you go, there you are"
    – Nico
    Feb 20, 2014 at 12:07
  • @Nico true but I specifically talked about the statement b.
    – Maulik V
    Feb 20, 2014 at 12:15
  • Your first example makes it sound like you're referring to the person when you say "here you are". But it could be used if you didn't go away from the person and come back, e.g. "Can I borrow a pen?" "Sure, here you are." (you can also use "here you go"). Feb 20, 2014 at 13:15

Here you are

A shortened formula. And parsing - to determine the word classes and word groups, as I understand it, won't help you at all.

The full formula must have been: Here you are served. I would interpret this formula as Look here, you are served. Imagine a female servant placing a dish on her master's table.

  • Rogermue I support your basic premise. It must have come from various transformations from meaningful sentences. I can imagine a plausible scenario: (1a) Where's the bread? (1b) Here it is. (1a) Thank you! (1b) You are welcome. || (2a) Where's the bread? (2b) Here. You are welcome. || (3a) Where's the break? (3b) Here you are! || That's just a fun wild guess, of course; and the process is not necessarily linear. But that would be a plausible explanation on how some idioms come into usage. Feb 25, 2014 at 9:11
  • Of course, then the process starts all over recursively, and in a hundred years it will be considered more polite to say "Here you are you are you are" but they'll have no idea why. ;) Feb 25, 2014 at 9:16

Firstly, English is not a perfect language. You are all correct in your explanations. Some expressions that are used today do not make sense when considered literally. Many expressions form over time and become part of the vocabulary even though they make little sense in English today. Words like people evolve and can generate new meanings. I remember when I was young; cool meant that the temperature was low. All languages lose words and gain others from outside.It is because languages evolve that many current dictionary meanings seem out of date. "Here you are" doesn't answer the location of where a person is in time. It simply highlights whatever the receiver is receiving. MooreAcademical

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