How are you? Can't put a YOU in a sentence, why? please help.


How can you manage without placing a YOU here and there. I am confused and would appreciate some help. 


Following is what I get from Grammarly,


Review this sentence for personal pronouns
The personal pronoun, “you”, may not be appropriate for formal writing. Consider removing this pronoun, and rephrasing your sentence.

Formal writing should be impersonal, so personal pronouns – possessive or otherwise- are generally not used. Personal pronouns (i.e. I, you, we, my, mine, your, yours, our, ours) assume the information in your writing applies only to specific readers. By using impersonal pronouns (he, she, one, they, his, him, her, one’s, their), any reader may make their own personal connections to the information being discussed.

you asked Sep 29 '12 at 19:21 Aviv Ben David New member

3 answers


Remember: All writing advice is "advice." As the author, your job is to decide how to act on that advice.

If you are writing fiction and use "you" in a sentence such as, "How are you?" then—clearly—no other word will do the job.

But if you're writing critical prose and say something like, "The ending of Shirley Jackson's story 'The Lottery' shocks you," then your prose will be much better if you follow the Grammarly advice and revise the sentence to read, "The ending of Shirley Jackson's story 'The Lottery' shocks the reader."

In other words, don't use "you" when you really mean a hypothetical person in general.

link comment answered Sep 29 '12 at 20:26 d.s.koelling New member

If you are writing informally or writing dialogue, using "you" is fine. What Grammarly is saying is that in academic writing, you do not use first or second person.

link comment answered Sep 30 '12 at 01:38 Brownii Contributor

When writing, you can switch out the use of pronouns for descriptive roles or simple references.  


Instead of using you in a sentence, depending on the situation, you could write:  one, an individual, the [insert role] (examples - reader, participant, viewer, etc.).  

link comment answered Sep 30 '12 at 01:53 Kim Jackson New member

Your answer

Write at least 20 characters

Have a question about English grammar, style or vocabulary use? Ask now to get help from Grammarly experts for FREE.