VERB+YOU constructions

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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VERB+YOU constructions

Post by Lignator » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:26 pm

What is the literal meaning of VERB+YOU constructions? eg thank you, damn you, bless you, ~ you etc etc.

Take the phrase "~ you" for example. I know this phrase is used in english to express contempt, discontent etc etc. But what does it literally mean? Is it an imperative sentence? Are you telling someone that they need to ~ themselves when you tell them "~ you"? Or is it more like " ~ you"? In other words who is the person doing the "fucking" and who is getting "fucked"?

Thank you in advance.

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Re: VERB+YOU constructions

Post by Alan » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:12 am

They are essentially elliptical expressions, with an implied first person subject: I thank you, I damn you, etc.