Can we say "you is" instead of "you are"?

For example;

"You is smart"

  • 1
    Based on the answers below and your specification of "grammatically" the answer is therefore "never" in correct English. – Peter Jennings Sep 10 '19 at 17:45
  • Agreed - it's wrong and you should never say it, even if you hear native speakers saying it. – TypeIA Sep 10 '19 at 19:25

The only time you would hear "you is" for "you are" is in dialect forms of English. It is incorrect in standard English.


When you are teaching someone that 'you' is a pronoun which has no singular form in Modern English.

  • Excellent. Or as lyrics. – Davo Sep 10 '19 at 14:29

Is is singular, whereas are is plural.

Here is the simple answer from a question asked on ELU:

"you" is always plural. Or at least, it was so historically, and that has carried over into the present in verb conjugation.

The other answer that post offers:

is that "are" is the form of "to be" used for first person plural, third person plural, and both plural and singular in second person (with you). Thus, "are" with a singular "you" is also singular. It just looks exactly like the plural form. The same goes for "were" in the past tense, or for any other verb in second person: The form of the singular is identical to that of the plural.

Although I do think this isn't as simple.

In modern times, you is has crept in as a colloquialism (presumably stemming from this confusion), but is considered incorrect.

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