1. Francis de Aguilar

    Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

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    Plural of 'I love you'

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Francis de Aguilar, Oct 20, 2016.

    How do I write a plural of 'you'

    one 'I love you' v two 'I love yous'

    Should it be you's?
    or possibly youse?
     
  2. I.A. By the Barn

    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    Is it to two people? You could just say I love you both.
    The thing is French has a plural for you (vous) but in English it is exactly the same as the singular, or so I've always thought.
     
  3. Francis de Aguilar

    Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

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    It is one person referring to more than one utterance of the term 'I love you' It is for a poem so I could allow a bit of 'license'.
     
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  4. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Contributor

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    I love you two
    I love you, guys
    I love you X, Y and Z
    I love you, ladies

    Otherwise, yeah, you could spell it "yous". It's a grammatical deviation (you're applying a rule that applies to nouns to a pronoun), but since you're writing a poem, it's okay to have a bit of fun. :p
     
  5. Francis de Aguilar

    Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

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    This is the line (so far) in question

    And all my 'I love you's' have gone awry.

    I suppose as it's actually possessive 'my I love you's' apostrophe s, could work.
     
  6. SethLoki

    SethLoki Retired Autodidact Contributor

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    This could tie with a thread on here about 'stacked hyphenation'. If you're meaning many utterances of the phrase rather than loving many people. Then, to remove ambiguity, I reckon a good method would be to string your thing together:

    I-love-yous

    A bit of poetic licence, as you say+ deft use of context and I'm sure you'll focus your meaning.
     
  7. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    "Youse" tends to be associated with the New York city / New Jersey dialect of the US. You could go South and say "I love y'all", or even "I love all y'all", which, believe it or not, is a proper plural in that region.
     
  8. Francis de Aguilar

    Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

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  9. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    And all my I love yous have gone awry

    And all my "I love you"s have gone awry
     
  10. xanadu

    xanadu Contributor Contributor

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    I agree that hyphenated is the way to go. You're creating a compound word.

    I-love-yous.
     
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  11. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

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    That's honestly the way I'd do it. Sounds right to me.
     
  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    I'd go with I love yous.

    It's not possessive, and it looks weird to me to make it such. Adding "my" in front of it doesn't change it. You write "All my cats are outside" not "All my cat's are outside."
     
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  13. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Agreed. It's an improvised noun phrase, so there is likely to be no official take on this, but that's one of the joys of a language that doesn't answer to some stuffy committee in rarified climes (I'm looking at you, RAE). You're allowed to make these things up as long as they make sense within the context.
     
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  14. Kingtype

    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Contributor

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    Right under your nose!
    'I love yinz'

    :superagree:
     
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  15. Scot

    Scot Senior Member

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    Do you really need a plural of you?

    An all encompassing gesture like. He turned to face the girls, and spread his hands wide, "I love you," he said, beaming at both of them

    Actors, musicians, stage performers of all genres do this all the time. I think it is very effective as it is a personal message aimed at every individual person in the audience individually. To say "Yous" can leave you thinking did he mean me too?
     
  16. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    ^I think contextually this is about its use in a poem, judging from what I've read. It'd be more like if I was talking with my friend at a bar, getting sloshed because I was depressed over a break-up... so I turn over to him and I say, "All my 'I love yous' have gone to waste."

    That's how I read it anyway. But I agree with Steerpike; I think "I love yous" reads the best, and avoids making it look possessive.
     
  17. Francis de Aguilar

    Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

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    Yup, that's it all right. I like the hyphens though so I am going to use, 'I-love-yous'.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
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  18. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    But he's not using the phrase in its usual syntax. He's making a noun out of the whole phrase to encapsulate the act of saying I love you, and in this case the numerous times I love you was said.
     
  19. Scot

    Scot Senior Member

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    You're right of course (he says, creeping out under the door). But in a different context?
     
  20. doggiedude

    doggiedude Contributor Contributor

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    I had something similar recently. I needed to a refer to a shopkeeper repeating thank you & please come again.
    I went with

    They left with the proprietor exclaiming several more thank you’s along with a few, please come back anytime’s.

    No idea if it's correct or not but it seemed understandable.
     
  21. Lewdog

    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    There is also the word "Youns." It is another way of saying "You'all."
     
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  22. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Oh! So you're not trying to say "I love you" to more than one person/animal/object, etc. You're using "I love you" as a phrasal noun. In that case, how you have it in your example is just fine. Generally, one doesn't use apostrophes to form plurals, but in this case, keeping it in makes the meaning clear. After all, you don't want the reader to think you've simply misspelled a Brooklyn accent. :supercheeky:
     
  23. SethLoki

    SethLoki Retired Autodidact Contributor

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    Given Francis's query seems to be settled now. What about characters? The typed type; the plural of letters of the alphabet?

    In the past I've inverted-commarised and written them phonetically. i.e. there are 4 'esses' in Mississippi but soon came a cropper. I think though there's a better way to do it but it's in the face of all that's been discussed above.

    That is to inject an apostrophe. i.e. there are 4 s's in Mississippi
     
  24. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    There are also two pees in Mississippi.

    That's my two peas'worth penniesworth penn'orth...
     
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  25. SethLoki

    SethLoki Retired Autodidact Contributor

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    I wish there wasn't one in 'the night' for me. I have real trouble getting back to sleep.
     
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