have a good day

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Silvia, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Hi everyone,

    I'd like to know what's the difference between the following expressions at the end of a letter:

    Have a good day

    and

    You have a good day.

    I thought the latter sounded more irritated, but I guess I'm wrong. Is there anything I am missing?

    And also, the greeting at the end of a letter should be followed by a comma or a full mark?

    Thanks!
     
  2. kenny74 Junior Member

    Glasgow
    Scotland-English
    I don't think there's any sense of irritation in the second one. It sounds more like the kind of sign-off you would find in an American Letter;just adding a bit more emphasis. I would put a comma after it if you were signing your name
     
  3. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    So you mean there's no difference at all between the two, so I can use them both as I like?
     
  4. kenny74 Junior Member

    Glasgow
    Scotland-English
    No real difference. They would both be friendly and informal
     
  5. Tomas Robinson

    Tomas Robinson Senior Member

    Puerto Rico
    USA, English & Spanish
    Yes, a comma is expected for either.

    Actually, the "You have a good day" makes me think of "y'all have a good day". Short for "you all", it's a distinctly southern (and western) U.S. flavor and one of the very few times the object in American English is addressed with a plural in the 2nd person (there's "ustedes" en español, but there isn't an equal English word -- "you" in 2nd person means one or many). :)

    Cheers,
     
  6. madmouse New Member

    Órgiva, España
    England, English (but live in Spain now)
    To me "You have a good day." is not a correct sentence in English.

    "Have a good day" or "I hope you have a good day" are both correct.

    Rob
     
  7. Sybil Senior Member

    US
    Poland/Polish
    Silvia,

    You can also say "Have a good one" or "You have a good one," which is really informal And, again, there's really no difference in meaning between the two.

    "You have a good day" also reminds me of "Hope you have a good day."

    Tomas, and what I like about "y'all" is that it can refer to either a group of people or a single person. Can't do that with "you guys" now, can we? ;-)
     
  8. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Rob, do you mean maybe it's an American expression? Or is it stylistically wrong both in American English and British English?
     
  9. madmouse New Member

    Órgiva, España
    England, English (but live in Spain now)
    Well, I can only comment on British English, no idea about American English, and even then I'm not an expert, but in my opinion "You have a good day." is not structuraly correct and it's not anything I or any of my friends would say. But it might be more common in American English, I don't know.
     
  10. RTB

    RTB Junior Member

    England, English
    I agree. However, it is used informally in England and America but is usually followed by a 'now': 'You have a good day now'.
    Silviap, I would stick to using 'have a good day'.

    -RTB
     
  11. Sybil Senior Member

    US
    Poland/Polish
    Well, "you have a good day" is a correct sentence in American English. In this context, it's an imperative and it's cceptable because you can use a pronoun if you're addressing someone directly.
    (Note: you can use the imperative not only for giving orders but also to make suggestions, and "you have a good day (now)" is a suggestion.)

    Silvia, in your example, "you" is "polite," but you are on the right track when you suggest that sometimes a pronoun used in a command may imply that the speaker is angry or plain rude.
    If someone says, "Try working for 6 months with no pay," it sounds more or less like a polite complaint. The speaker is probably tired. But if someone says, "You try working for 6 months with no pay," especially if "you" is stressed, the speaker is probably not only tired but also frustrated. :)
     
  12. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Thank you all!

    Sybil, that's why I was asking! I guess I heard that somewhere... maybe in some movie, especially with a well, before that:
    Well, you go to bed now.
    What about that?
     
  13. DesertCat Senior Member

    inglese | English
    I consider the addition of "you" to emphasize the point that you have a good day or go to bed or do whatever since it's not necessary to add "you" if you're talking directly to someone.

    However, in my tendency to over-analyze everything, there are situations where I consider it somewhat condescending if someone says "you have a good day" (an order) rather than "have a good day" (a suggestion).
     
  14. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    Silviap, "You have a good day" is correct but odd sounding. Depending on the tone it can even sound insincere (the sign-off of a telemarketer comes to mind). If you stress the You and add too (you have a good day, too) it can be a response to someone who has said to you "have a good day" first, but on its own I would steer clear. It's just too affected.
     
  15. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    "well you have a good day", or "well you go to bed", is clearly a conversation ender, though not necessarily stern. Kind of a "vabbè, ora vai a letto"
     
  16. Sybil Senior Member

    US
    Poland/Polish
    Silvia,



    Hm... “Well, you go to bed now” is just another way of saying “well, time to get some sleep now” ("time for me to get some sleep," or "time for us to get some sleep" or, in this context, "time for you to get some sleep"). Or as lsp has put it, “Kind of a ‘vabbè, ora vai a letto’.”

    Can’t think of any examples of what else you might be referring to at the moment. You just holler when you hear that phrase again, so we can help you out, deal? ;)
     
  17. Nick

    Nick Senior Member

    Western USA
    USA, English
    As others have pointed out, this is just a stylistic choice. Unless the "you" is stressed, it makes no difference.

    "Well, you go to bed now" and "Well, you can go to bed now" and "Well, go to bed now" are all the same -- they all are giving you a gentle hint. The speaker thinks it is time for you to sleep. This sounds like something a parent or would say to their child.
     
  18. jacinta Senior Member

    California
    USA English
    If I go into a store and buy something, the clerk says to me: You have a good day, now, my impression is that the clerk is making his greeting more personal. He is directing the statement to me personally rather than the usual, generic Have a good day.

    For some reason, I like Have a good day rather than Have a nice day. I like Have a good one even more!
     
  19. Sybil Senior Member

    US
    Poland/Polish
    Couldn't agree with you more, Jacinta.
    I like "Have a good one" the most. To me, "have a nice day" is the least personal of all.
     
  20. lauranazario Moderatrix

    Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico/Español & English
    I agree as well, Jacinta.
    I believe the addition of the "you" does personalize what would otherwise be a generic greeting or farewell. :)

    Saludos,
    LN
     
  21. Silvia

    Silvia Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Thank you all :)

    Now it's clearer ;)
     
  22. Blue Spotted Frog New Member

    United States, English
    "Have a good one" sounds cooler.
     
  23. JennGirl New Member

    Florida
    English
    Hello everyone! I am a switchboard operator for a major hospital and would like to find a more eloquent way of wishing callers a good day.

    Currently, I alternate between: "Have a nice day", "You have a good day", "I hope you enjoy your day", etc.

    They all don't sound as personal as I'd like them to....and I don't receive enough information from the caller to personalize it.

    These calls are fast-paced, so I can't have the ending too long. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions.

    Thank you in advance!
     
  24. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    Hello Jenn ~ Welcome to the English Only forum:)
    Are the people calling you from your local area? Perhaps you could say something like Enjoy the lovely weather. (Having thought about it, this might sound a bit stupid in Florida. It wouldn't in the UK where you never know what the weather's going to do from one minute to the next ... other than that it'll usually be bad.)
    Would It was nice/good talking to you be inappropriate? ~ I suppose it depends on the type of call you're taking.
    Sorry, can't think of anything else ...
    ~ewie
     
  25. JennGirl New Member

    Florida
    English
    Thanks for replying, Ewie!

    There are so many calls...most aren't local....but I appreciate the idea...it will certainly be useful in particular situations!

    ~Jennifer
     
  26. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    The only other thing I can think of is: if when the person calls there's something audible in the background you might sign off by mentioning it ~ I'll let you get back to your football game; Sounds like Baby wants feeding; I think your dog needs letting out, something like that
     
  27. Harry Batt

    Harry Batt Senior Member

    Minneapolis
    USA English
    You have a good day is what I use in two situations. First, I am aware that my listener has had a bit of bad luck. "You have a good day," makes it sound like I really care. Second, my listener is someone I've struck up a conversation with in a shopping mall, at the check out counter. I've never seen him before. [ have gotten shocked reactions anywhere except in the States] In parting--we will likely never see each other again--"You have a good day," gives a feeling that you really enjoyed talking to him about the frigid weather, the results of the Super Bowl or whatever.
     
  28. MyRomance New Member

    Austria
    Italian
    "Have a good day!" is a wish...
    "You have a good day" is a constatation...
    :)
     

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