Last week, I posted about the use of ‘like’ in English.
This week, I would like to post about the use of ‘you know’ in English.
I don’t want to make a judgement about whether it’s good or bad to speak like this, I just want to make a comment that a lot of people do speak in this way, and that it’s very important to understand when people are using this kind of word to break up a sentence.
It’s actually a bit similar to punctuation. These days I see more and more e-mail messages with :); (:, lol, etc.
Perhaps there is also a deeper meaning when people are using ‘you know’ or ‘ya know’, too, in English, to try to get the other person’s agreement on something or to try to get the other person to understand/empathise with what they’re saying.
But in any case, you will need to understand it. A few years ago, I was in France and I couldn’t understand what someone was saying, they were using the word ‘quoi’ every other sentence:
“C’est comme ça, quoi”
It means, it’s obvious, c’est une évidence.
After I understood that, I found myself understanding the rest of what they were saying, the ‘quoi’ had been blocking out the rest of the sentences.
So, here are a couple of videos to show how often ‘you know’ or ‘ya know’ are used.
Sorry about the quality of the first video.
The second one, comes from an ex-member of my rugby club, Saracens. See if you can identify the ‘you know’s: