Ya’ll or y’all – which is correct?

If you’re wondering whether to spell it as ya’ll or y’all, your search ends here. Keep reading to find out which is correct.

ya'll or y'all? Which form is correct meaning definition correct form examples Correctme.org

Ya’ll or y’all?

The best way to remember how to spell this phrase is to understand its structure. Just like many other expressions with apostrophes, this word is a contraction. It’s a shortened form of ‘you all’, so it’s clear that the form that is correct is y’all, while ya’ll is a misspelling. But how did this phrase come about?

What does y’all actually mean?

Y’all is a pronoun that denotes the second person plural, used to directly address more than one person. In short, y’all is the plural of you. While in most varieties of English this pronoun is the same as the second person singular – you, this little contraction is one of the ways to distinguish between the two forms.

Most probably of Scottish origin, y’all is usually associated with Southern American English, but it has also developed in other varieties, including African-American English and South African Indian English. Please note that although it’s becoming increasingly popular in spoken English, y’all and other ways of creating the plural you (see below) can be considered informal and therefore not appropriate in some situations.

The synonyms of y’all

Y’all is not the only way to make the pronoun you plural. Except for the full form ‘you all’, you can also use ‘you guys’, a common option in the U.S., or ‘you lot’ (U.K.). There is also ‘yous/youse’ (pronounced like the word ‘use’), which appears in many varieties, including those spoken in South Africa, New Zealand and Ireland.

Ya’ll or y’all? It’s all clear! Examples in sentences

“As an ex-fast-food worker, we get embarrassed when the tablet asks you to tip. I worked frozen yogurt and had to ask for y’all to click it and if I told you to ignore it I would get yelled at,” she wrote.

New York Post, August 1, 2022

Hoobler never forgot what one of the nurses told him as the boy was taken to the emergency room: “If y’all had waited for [an ambulance], … he would have died.”

The Guardian, July 23, 2022

Written by

She is a translator and EFL teacher with an MA in English studies, who dabbles in writing, subtitling and academic proofreading. When not pondering the complexities of linguistic correctness, she enjoys DIY, cycling and playing any type of guitar she can lay her hands on.