"Well, I've bin doin' some readin'," said Hagrid, pulling a large book from under his pillow. "Got this outta the library -- Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit -- It's a bit outta date, o' course, but it's all in here. Keep the egg in the fire, 'cause their mothers breathe on 'em, see, an' when it hatches, feed it on a bucket o' brandy mixed with chicken blood every half hour. An' see here -- how ter recognize diff'rent eggs -- what I got there's a Norwegian Ridgeback. They're rare, them."

What's the sentence "They're rare, them" conveying? I can figure out 'they' refers to "Norwegian Ridgeback eggs", but I don't understand what 'them' is doing there? I feel the structure of the sentence is unusual, so I'm not sure if this kind of sentence construction has some special effect. Is it a part of standard English structures, which I'm not yet familiar with?

-- Excerpted from Harry Potter.

  • Norwegian Ridgeback eggs are rare. Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 3:41
  • @JasonBassford, what is 'them' doing there? That's my main confusion. I can figure out 'they' refers to "Norwegian Ridgeback eggs".
    – dan
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 3:43
  • @dan I think the 'them' also refers to Norwegian Ridgeback. It's like a reaffirmation.
    – Albert
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 3:45
  • @Albert, I just feel the structure is odd, maybe it's not odd but I'm just not familiar with it.
    – dan
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 3:48
  • @dan yeah, it also sounds weird to me. Maybe because it's British?
    – Albert
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 4:39

1 Answer 1


Appending a pronoun in that way, I'm tired, me, you're crazy, you, they're rare, them, is used in some English regional dialects.

  • Any effect for it to be used that way?
    – dan
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 6:29
  • 2
    Mild emphasis or affirmation, I suppose. Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 6:55

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