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See also: yall and ya'll


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Usage frequency of y’all in the United States.

Alternative forms[edit]


Contraction of you all.




  1. (chiefly Southern US) Plural form of you.
    • 1987, Judson D. Hale, The education of a Yankee: an American memoir, page 3:
      Much later, after dozens of the men had come up to me to shake my hand (with both of theirs) and say "Y'all come back soon, hear? ...
    • 2007, Roy Blount, Long time leaving: dispatches from up South, page 117:
      People in the South do indeed seem to be addressing a single person as "y'all." For instance, a restaurant patron might ask a waiter, "What y'all got for dessert tonight?" In that case, "y'all" refers collectively to the people who run the restaurant.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The form y'all is heard primarily in the Southern United States, and nationwide in AAVE. For other second-personal plural pronouns, see you.
  • In the past, y'all was never used as a proper singular, but it may have been used with an implied plural, e.g. "you [and your team]", "you [and your coworkers]", "you [and your family]". Due to a cultural shift in the United States by non-Southerners using the word, it is now sometimes used as a singular you.[1]
  • Notwithstanding its etymology, the all in y'all is merely a plural marker, not a quantifier. Thus, just as us may refer either to some of us or all of us in standard English, y'all may refer either to some of y'all or to all [of] y'all.
  • Y'all is not considered informal speech, but is also not considered formal -- You all would, to a few, be considered more formal, but is not required in formal situation nor is it encouraged.


  • For semantic relationships of this term, see y'all in the Thesaurus.

Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ Okrent, Arika (2014-09-14), “Can y'all be used to refer to a single person?”, in The Week[1] (in English), The Week Publications, retrieved 2014-09-15