Singular Y'ALL: some data

Natalie Maynor maynor at CS.MSSTATE.EDU
Thu May 24 13:28:30 UTC 2001

Beverly Flanigan wrote:

>   For plural
> possessive, would you/you all say "your all's" or "you all's"?

Y'all's.  Even though I use you-all much more often than I use y'all
(since I'm old -- younger speakers rarely use you-all), I don't think
I'd ever say you-all's and I know I would never say your-all's.  Your-
all's sounds downright weird to my native Southern ears.

One thing to keep in mind is that the possessive form is often simply
"your" since the plural reference is often established earlier in the
sentence.  A typical sentence would be something like this:  "Did y'all
[or you-all] remember to bring your books?"  The same is true for second
uses of non-genitive forms.  E.g., "What did y'all do when you saw the

But if the possessive did happen to come without a previous y'all or
you-all, I would almost certainly say y'all's -- e.g., "Where is y'all's

   --Natalie Maynor (maynor at

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