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The following is the first sentence from a native speaker's video on Youtube about leaning English. He says:

"Hi, Bob the Canadian here, let's learn English at the grocery store."

He is simply introducing himself, and I can't quite understand why he uses the word "here", because I don't see anyone using it when they are introducing themselves.

So, really, why does he add "here" when introducing himself at the beginning? Without using the word "here" and not causing any change in meaning, he could have simply said "Hi, I am Bob the Canadian," couldn't he?

So my question is what is the function of the word "here" in that sentence if there is any? What kind of an effect does it make on the meaning?

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    There's a difference between being redundant and being unnecessary. Especially in telephone communication, but also more generally, some redundancy is useful to ensure that messages are correctly understood. Sep 2, 2022 at 9:15
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    Hi Ho! Kermit the Frog here! Sep 3, 2022 at 12:15

9 Answers 9

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If you appear and say "Hi, Bob the Canadian!" it sounds like you're saying hello to someone called Bob the Canadian. If you want to say hello and indicate that you are Bob the Canadian, then you need to say something else.

Saying "Hi, I'm Bob the Canadian!" implies that people don't know who you are - so it's fine in the first video but not in later videos.

"Hi, Bob the Canadian here!" is a way of announcing your presence, rather than saying your name. It's similar to when you walk into a room and say "Hi, I'm here!" or "Hi, it's me." But saying "It's me" is only suitable if you are very well known to the other person, not if you've just met a few times: it is polite for him to remind you of his name in case you've forgotten. If you met someone you'd only met a few times before, it's common to introduce yourself "Hi, I'm Dave, Susan's brother, you remember we met..."

It's common for TV personalities to say hello and introduce themselves in some way even if they're known, rather than just appear and immediately start saying "Today I'm going to be talking about..." It's perhaps politeness, as I said, and partly convention. It also give peoples a chance to pay attention, sit down, adjust the volume, and listen.

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    Regarding "fine in the first video but not in later videos": I don't think that really holds up on YouTube because any video could be the first video that someone watches from that channel.
    – David Z
    Sep 1, 2022 at 18:00
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Yes, it's necessary. It does the same job as "I'm" or "my name is". If you drop it, you'll probably be understood, but definitely interpreted as speaking very telegraphically.

To account for why it does this, imagine as the answer to an unasked "Who's there?"

Answer: "It's Bob the Canadian here."

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    I would use 'Mike Harvey here' if I were announcing myself remotely from the listener or listeners, e.g. in a video, video call, on the phone, podcast, radio programme, etc. Not face-to-face. Sep 1, 2022 at 7:40
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    @MichaelHarvey Right. I think WS2 makes a good point that it suggests speaking at a distance, which (to come back to my logic above) is when you might need to ask "Who's there?" Sep 1, 2022 at 11:29
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    Also note that it's used by a stranger introducing themselves for a first time (which is potentially every time on radio or TV or other media), not once you know the person. Sep 1, 2022 at 14:49
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    @yunus It's only used in certain situations, mostly TV broadcasts and on the phone as far as I can remember. For a job interview or a conference talk, "I'm" or "my name is" would be more appropriate.
    – wjandrea
    Sep 1, 2022 at 16:40
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    Good answer. Some alternatives: “It’s Bob the Canadian,” or (not as informal) “This is Bob the Canadian.”
    – Davislor
    Sep 1, 2022 at 19:58
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It is simply that it replicates telephone speech.

"Who's there"? "It's Fred here!"

These are the forms used on the phone - and they are (perhaps with mild irony) transferred to any situation where you cannot see, or are not in the presence of the other party.

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    You don't need to say "here" in response to that question.
    – Barmar
    Sep 1, 2022 at 14:07
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    @Barmar Hmm. You're right. I need to rethink my rationale. Sep 1, 2022 at 15:04
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    That's because you have "it's" (or "I'm") and the "here" covers for the lack of either one in the original example.
    – WBT
    Sep 1, 2022 at 16:38
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    I agree with @WBT, but to extend: if it's dark, and someone asks "who's there?", saying "It's Fred" implies that Fred believes that they are the only one there, while "Fred here" leaves the possibility for other people to also pipe up and announce themselves. Sep 1, 2022 at 16:48
  • @Barmar I wan't suggestion that one was a reply to the other. I was merely providing two examples. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear.
    – WS2
    Sep 1, 2022 at 20:58
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It implies "This is", as in "This is Bob the Canadian". If he didn't use it and simply said "Hi, Bob the Canadian" he could be saying hello to someone else whom he refers to as Bob the Canadian.

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    Hi, Peter. Your answer has already been given. Please read through the existing answers before posting your own. You can take our Tour to familiarize yourself with this platform. Welcome to ELL!
    – Joachim
    Sep 1, 2022 at 19:32
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You've asked 2 questions, which have 2 different answers.

Is "here" needed in "Hi, Bob the Canadian here, let's ..."?

Yes. If you remove it, the middle phrase is incomplete. If written, "Hi, Bob the Canadian, let's ..." seems like the author is speaking to Bob. When spoken, inflection makes the meaning clear, but it's incomplete/broken. The middle, parenthetical phrase is actually an "aside sentence", a whole detour sentence in the middle of the other sentence. "Bob the Canadian" is just a noun, it's just a subject with no verb or object. It's grammatically equivalent to "Hi, turtles, let's ...". The inflection makes it clear the speaker isn't speaking to turtles, but it leaves the audience wondering "What, about turtles?". The phrase/'sentence' "Bob the Canadian" also triggers that "You gave me a noun with nothing else - what's missing?" alert in the listener's mind.

Can you avoid the word "here" by saying something equivalent?

Yes. They could have said "Hi, I'm Bob the Canadian, lets...". In fact, "[name] here" is short for "I'm [name]". Picture a large group of people introducing themselves where you have to keep looking around at whoever is speaking next. If everyone just said their name, it would be so short that you wouldn't have time to see who said it. Also, multiple people would speak over each other, because neither was talking long enough to for the second to hear the first was already speaking, and stop to let them finish. By speaking a bit longer, "Over here, I'm [name]", there's enough time for others to detect someone else is already speaking (so they don't speak or stop speaking), and for everyone to locate them and see who it is that's introducing themselves.

Over time, the following substitutions/equivalencies became part of the language.

  • "Over here, I'm [name]"
  • --> "I'm [name], over here"
  • --> "I'm [name], here"
  • --> "[name] here"

You can see in the last one, that "here" is no longer parenthetical, but the whole phrase is one patterned shorthand. That's why the first comment on your question said there's no comma before "here".

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I believe this to be two sentences: "Hi, Bob the Canadian, here" and "Let's learn English at the grocery store."

The first sentence is missing a verb. He could mean "Hi, Bob the Canadian is here".

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  • "Bob the Canadian here" is its own sentence, but it's interjected as an aside in the middle of the other one. You're right, the verb is missing, but it's implied. However, "[name] is here" is not the verb/sentence implied. The implied verb/sentence is "I'm [name], over here". Sep 3, 2022 at 11:43
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The example sentence you gave, "Hi, Bob the Canadian, here, let's learn English at the grocery store" could mean two completely different things, which could be disambiguated via stress, timing, and context.

With some small changes to clarify meaning, it could mean:

  1. "Hi, Bob the Canadian! Here: let's learn English at the grocery store." You are Bob the Canadian, and the speaker is greeting you, and introducing an activity. Is this example, the "Here:" is unnecessary. It's perhaps a way of being polite. It suggests (to me at least, a native speaker) that this is what is now going to happen, but in a polite way, like the student is being guided. It's something you might hear in tutorials or lessons as a way to introduce the next activity.
  2. "Hi! Bob the Canadian here! Let's learn English at the grocery store." The speaker is Bob the Canadian who introduces himself, and then suggests an activity. In this example, the "here" is necessary. Without it ("Hi! Bob the Canadian! Let's learn...") it would be ambiguous, and either the speaker or you might be Bob the Canadian. It could be the speaker trying harder to get your attention after the first "Hi!" didn't quite cut it, or it could be (perhaps with a manual marker like pointing to himself) a short version of "I'm Bob the Canadian!".

The second meaning is the only one the other answers so far seem to have picked up on, but the first is entirely plausible, depending on how it's said. As it's written in your example, the punctuation is awkward and ambiguous to my eye.

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You've provided a reason you could say "I am..." but not why you think "...here" is incorrect. Yes, you could use "I am...". There's nothing to answer here until you clarify the source of your confusion.

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here can be used as a synonym for "the person speaking to you" aka "me".

Compare:

Give it here.

It means, "give it to me".

The question whether something spoken "is necessary" reveals a misunderstanding of how natural language works. Redundancy in natural language is not a flaw. It reinforces meaning.

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  • Neither, "*Hi, Bob the Canadian me, let's learn English at the grocery store" nor "*Hi, Bob the Canadian the person speaking to you, let's learn English at the grocery store" make sense.
    – gotube
    Oct 28 at 0:52
  • @gotube: Of course they don't. I'm not suggesting that they are syntactic equivalents. There's a semantic component to language, no? "Here" is equivalent on a semantic level to "It's me". It's me, Bob the Canadian and Bob the Canadian, here have the same meaning. Oct 28 at 9:50
  • I agree that the meaning of "It's me" is very similar to "here" in that context, but not "me" alone, which doesn't have that function.
    – gotube
    Oct 29 at 3:11
  • Depends on the context, @gotube. Who is it? -- Me. Oct 29 at 11:53
  • "Who is it?" is not the context here though, so this information doesn't answer the question and is not true.
    – gotube
    Nov 2 at 6:50

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