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. Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 17:45
  • Agreed - it's wrong and you should never say it, even if you hear native speakers saying it.
    – TypeIA
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 19:25

5 Answers 5


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
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 14:29

There is a time where using "you is" is correct. That situation is when you are speaking about the actual word "you." For example,

The definition of you is ‘a pronoun used to refer to the person or people that the speaker is addressing.'

Other than that, you is a pronoun which has no singular form.


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.

  • You always takes are but it can refer to one person or to a group of people.
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 24, 2021 at 18:53

"You is" is usually ungrammatical in standard English. You cannot use "you is" as a substitute for "you are".

However, you can say "One of you is responsible", "One of you is stupid", "One of you is innocent".

  • That's because in the above sentences the subject is 'one' and not 'you'.
    – dag729
    Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 17:40

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