I am looking for the ways one can imply that they are bot following someone else's meaning in the manner that force the other one to make their meaning clearer. I always say:

  • What do you mean by that?

But recently, I came across the sentence:

Your point being?

According to what @Kai Maxfield said:

...it is an informal contraction of the odd-sounding, and possibly out-dated, "Your point being what?"

Here, it is not clear to me whether it is sort of an obsolete expression or it is still common especially in the US. In addition, if it is old-fashioned, I was wondering what is its up-to-date replacement in informal American English?

Please kindly let me know about it.

And your point is?

  • 9 The grammar of spoken Englishhttps://www.cambridge.org › appliedlinguistics › reading Most spoken discourse is composed in real time. Speakers are working out what they want to say and producing language at the same time. This is no simple task​. Go to that Cambridge site and look for: The Grammar of Spoken English I cannot give you a proper link. Sorry.
    – Lambie
    Jun 29, 2021 at 15:02

1 Answer 1


I don't know why you would think it is outdated - this ngram shows that it is a relatively new saying which has grown in use since the early 1990s. I think you have misread the post you quoted - the author didn't say "your point being?" was outdated, they said that it was possibly derived from a saying that was.

"Your point being?" is an example of a sentence where the rules of grammar do not necessarily need to apply because rather than being a complete statement, it is a prompt for someone else to continue by stating a point that the listener believes has been omitted.

Person 1: John is often late.
Person 2: Your point being?
Person 1: That he is not reliable.

Person 1 is in effect saying "my point being that he is not reliable", because he has been led into that by person 2.

Ngrams are limited in value, they just show trends in a selection of literature and do not always reflect usage in everyday speech. The ngram I used above does not find any examples in British English, but as a native British English speaker, I can confirm that it is a familiar expression and I'm fairly sure some would use it and be understood.

Another similar expression to prompt someone to continue with their thought is the use of "And?"

A more complete, and grammatical way of asking for the same thing would be "what is your point?"

  • When I read or hear "your point beng?" I usually understand that the writer/speaker is suggesting that there is no point.
    – Peter
    Dec 16, 2020 at 11:01
  • 1
    @Peter I kind of agree... as a question it is more an invitation to state a point that has not been made, which I mentioned in my answer. It might well be said knowing that the other party has no valid point to make, but it's still a question.
    – Astralbee
    Dec 16, 2020 at 11:06
  • @Peter - Agreed. I think that it conveys a sense of impatience and the impression that the speaker thinks their time is being wasted, so it could be seen as rude in some situations. Dec 16, 2020 at 20:47
  • I disagree that a more complete and grammatical way of asking is What is your point? The grammar of spoken English and its ruses are very different from written English.
    – Lambie
    Jun 29, 2021 at 14:58

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