3

When I ask "How many are you guys?" or "How many people are you guys?",

Which one is correct?

I am confused. Can anyone let me know?

Thank you for help!

8

Neither sound good.

The usual construction is "How many [apples] are there?" not "How many are there apples?" So the question when asked of people could be "How many guys are there?"

The "guys" is problematic (are we only counting males?) and there is no need for it so cut it out.

How many of you are there?

This works if the person you are speaking to is one of the people being counted; for example, if a group of people walk into a restaurant, the waiter might as "how many of you are there".

If you are asking someone to count or estimate other people you could ask

How many people are there?

For example "How many people are there waiting outside?"

  • Thank you! Then how about "How many people are there?"? Does it sound awkward? – sr song Oct 6 '18 at 15:10
  • @srsong "How many people are there" is OK, but "people" is a vague word so you don't really need It (just like you don't really need "guys"). But you can certainly use other words for groups of people or collections of things in that way - for example if you were talking about a school you could ask "how many teachers are there" or "how many students are there" – alephzero Oct 6 '18 at 17:31
2

If you want to use the phrase "you guys" (it's incredibly common where I live, so I can see why you might want to know how to use it) you could say

How many of you guys are there?

This implies that the person you are talking to is part of the "guys" who you want counted. It's especially used when there's some reason why the speaker can't personally count—the group is very large, some are absent, etc. It's a very informal structure, so I wouldn't use it in writing or on a formal occasion (I wouldn't expect this form from the maître d' at a fancy restaurant, for example), but it would be unremarkable in casual speech.

You can also substitute any "membership" term for "guys" as in

How many of you conventioneers are there?

How many of you Lee sisters are there?

How many of you quilters are there?

And so forth.

0

Context is important here. I go to a restaurant and ask for a table. I am asked,”How many in your party?”

If a student who needs tutoring implies he’s bringing a number of others, I’d ask, “how many students/friends/others are coming?”

There are subtle differences that would change the pronoun or other word for the group depending on context.

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Just about the only context where it would work is if 'you guys' refers to something other than people. For instance, you could be speaking to someone at a company and so 'how many people are you guys?' would mean 'how many people work at your company?'. 'How many are you guys?' could apply to the same context, but feels more awkward.

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