both of you [or] the both of you

Discussion in 'English Only' started by AskLang, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. AskLang Senior Member

    I'm going to miss the both of you.
    I'm going to miss both of you.

    Are both correct? In my opinion, only the one with the seems correct.

  2. ayed

    ayed Senior Member

    I feel I am to the second !Why?I don't know.It is just a mere deep insight..
  3. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    English / England
    Interesting. To me the second one is the only correct one, but I know there are some dialects which do use THE in that context.
  4. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    I agree with suzi br: only the second, without 'the', is standard English or at least standard BrE; with 'the' it has a dialectal feel, though it's probably quite common.
  5. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    I think they're both fine in AE.
    I'm going to miss the both of you is like I'm going to miss the two of you and I'm going to miss the pair of you.

    "the" also adds a certain emphasis to "the both of you."
  6. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    I agree, Copyright. That little article imparts a certain beauty and rhythm to the phrase that I find lacking in the shorter version.
  7. sergiofreeman

    sergiofreeman Senior Member

    Miami Florida
    I received from English learning tip of the day the following tip.

    Use 'the' after 'both' never before 'both'.
    Both the clients came to visit us today. NOT The both clients ...
    I bought both the books for my class. NOT I bought the both books ...

    I looked it up then in the forum to be sure and then you say it is ok the use "The both of you"

    I would like to know exactly what is the right way to use the Both or Both the

    Many thanks in advance, your help is crucial to improve my English language.
  8. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    If you'll reread this thread, you'll realize that there is no exactly right way. I agree with's examples, but those two examples don't cover all usages, as explained above.
  9. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    To clarify what we're talking about: the usage in question here is where 'the both of' is followed by a plural pronoun, 'us', 'you', or 'them'. We all agree that you can't say :cross:'the both books' or :cross:'the both of the books'.
  10. pob14 Senior Member

    Central Illinois
    American English
    Everybody's right. ;) I think "the both of [plural pronoun]" is essentially a set phrase, constituting an exception to the rule.
  11. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    Actually, only the second construction, the one without "the", is "correct" in formal/written English. You would not (or at least should not) read, in a news report, that the US has been negotiating new agreements on some matter with two other countries and has concluded treaties with "the both of them."

    The latter construction, however, is widely used conversationally and informally and certainly wouldn't be considered wrong in those situations. I might well say, "I borrowed two books from the library and I've just returned the both of them." Or, "Let's go for a run in the park. The exercise will be good for the both of us."

    So, given that the specific sentences in the original question would doubtless be written or spoken to friends or family members, they're both okay. But, as always, context counts.
  12. jiamajia

    jiamajia Senior Member

    Let me offer an explanation through this:

    Both can only be used according to dictionaries as a pronoun, a conjunction, an adverb or an adjective.

    I'm going to miss the both of you.---there is no way to define 'both' here is any of the four.
    I'm going to miss both of you.----'both' is a pronoun.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  13. 2Tino New Member

    First of all one does not use the definite article unless followed by a noun. "Both" is not a noun so the correct use is "both of you" without the definite article. "Do you say the both is on the table"? What is a both!? No folks, "the both" ain't right nowhere ever except in common speech dialect but it ain't propah english.
  14. suzi br

    suzi br Senior Member

    English / England
    No doubt the debate about what constitutes _proper_ English will run and run, but in the mean time, " the both of you" is fine in many people's spoken English.

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