I'm having a hard time figuring out which is the correct form of asking this kind of question. I mean speaking strictly, this doesn't sound right: You alright? or You eaten anything? compared to Are you alright? and Have you eaten anything?.
So please enlighten me. Are those both forms correct or just something which is ignored for the sake slang speakers?

4 Answers 4


Those phrases are examples of ellipsis: the omission of words that can be understood from the context, or given contextual clues.

While ellipsis is not normally used in formal English, it is more used in spoken English, or informal English.


These aren't correct in formal English. Here, the sentences say "Are you alright?", "Have you eaten anything", as you mentioned. The "Are"/"Have" are implied here, that's all. One finds this a lot in informal English -- words which can be guessed from context are sometimes dropped altogether.

It's just a way to save time, similar to how contractions are used (though contractions may be used in formal English as well)


We use ellipsis a lot in spoken English. It's certainly not good written style though!

I might have a conversation like this with friends:

Alright? Coming to the pub tonight?

Naa (No). Too tired. Went out last night.

Stay out late, did ya (you)?

Yeah. Got home about 2 in the morning. Wife wasn't happy!

  • This adds nothing to the existing, accepted answer.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Dec 29, 2018 at 18:35
  • I'm terribly sorry. Would it be acceptable ellipsis just to say "Supercilious curmudgeon"?
    – Matt
    Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 20:42

“You alright?” is not necessarily true according to the grammar rules. It is instead used for conversations with friends and relatives. The most correct sentence, in my opinion, would definitely be: Are you alright?”

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