"happy new year/years " ?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by roniy, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    "happy new year/years"

    I've heard people say 'year' and 'years'
    which one is the correct one ?
    And when I say ' happy new years', do I actually mean "happy new year's eve" ?

    Thanks,
    Roni.
     
  2. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    People do say "new year's" as short for "new year's eve" - eg "what are you doing for new year's?" but we only wish each other "happy new year". If you've heard "happy new year's", which I could believe, then it's probably people speaking without really thinking and mixing up the two (after a few drinks to welcome in the new year?:D).
     
  3. El escoces Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    English - UK
    I have never heard anyone in my neck of the woods (by which I mean Scotland) talk about new year's, although I'm aware that it is the norm in North America.

    Whether "year" is plural in the particular expression "Happy New Year(s)" is something I will leave it to our friends from that part of the world to answer, once they have finished celebrating the start of this momentous and - in equal part - challenging year to come.
     
  4. Transatlantic Junior Member

    Toronto
    srpskohrvatski; English
    For North America: While we do talk about doing stuff for New Year's (Eve), the greeting indeed is "Happy New Year".
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  5. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    It is? In what contexts is it the norm?
     
  6. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    "What are you doing for New Year's (eve)"
    "Happy New Year"

    As timepac said, it implies 'eve', it's not the plural of 'year'
     
  7. El escoces Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    English - UK
    Ouch. I'll rephrase. Based on my exchanges with my North American friends, I believe the expression "new year's" is used thre far more than in BrE. I accept that I don't know enough North Americans to be able to infer a norm.
     
  8. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    I think it's fashionable at the turn of the year to wish people a Happy New Year (singular), though one of my friends did once wish me a Happy New ear - I think that was a typo; I hadn't recently undergone surgery.

    When we greet people for their birthday we often wish them many happy years (plural) - (please look at my post 14, below, for a clarification of this), though I know English people who don't realize that the greeting 'Many Happy Returns' means precisely that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  9. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Thomas, let's say you wanted to say the happy years thing in the plural, to someone, what would it be, because that seems quite strange to me.
     
  10. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Not heard that myself:).
     
  11. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    You've never heard anyone say 'Many happy returns of the day', Tim? You surprise me.
     
  12. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    I've never heard that, is that what you meant when you said about the years in the plural, it would be 'returns' is what you'd say or something else that involves the word 'years' in the greeting?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  13. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    No, no - I'm fine with the "many happy returns" bit (although not so much with "of the day" added, although I knew that was the meaning). I just haven't heard the bit I quoted, "many happy years". Unless I (and by the looks of it Alex) have misunderstood what you meant?
     
  14. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    Forgive me. I simply meant that the standard greeting on a birthday - Many happy returns of the day - was wishing the person many years of happy life. I should have been more clear.

    I'll edit my post lest anyone else is puzzled.
     

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