Disjunctive question: Let's go home, shall we? Let us go home, will you?

fatbaby

Senior Member
China Chinese
Hi, There,
Which reply is best fit in ?
1) -Let's go home,shall we/will you?
2) -Let us go home, shall we/will you?

If possible, tell me why please.
Thanks .
 
  • ruziniu_yang

    Member
    PR. China/Chinese
    1. Let's go home, shall we?
    2. Let us go home, will you?
    You are included when you say Let's, and excluded when saying Let us
     

    fatbaby

    Senior Member
    China Chinese
    Hi,yang, thank you.Actually, I am not surprised to see your answers.What I couldn't understand is if Let's =let us (My dictionary tells me), then 1 and 2 are same .How came there is a connotation behind them?
     

    Lexiphile

    Senior Member
    England English
    I'm not certain that Yang's distinction is purely a connotation.

    Let's tends to be used more when the speaker is included in the proposed activity.

    When someone (a third party) is interferring with the activities of "us," then one tends to stress the Let us and therefore not contract it. Strictly speaking, both forms have the same meaning, but they are used in different circumstances,
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Member Emeritus
    English - England
    Hi, There,
    Which reply is best fit in ?
    1) -Let's go home,shall we/will you?
    2) -Let us go home, shall we/will you?
    If possible, tell me why please.
    Thanks .

    I'm puzzled by some of the other posts, so let's start from scratch.

    We can say let us or let's. Let's is more informal, and probably more usual.

    Let's or let us is first person plural imperative, so the interrogative affirmative tag is shall we? Will you? could only work, to my ear, as a question to some third party not included in the original us of the let's, and even then by itself it raises questions about what you will be doing - i.e. I wouldn't say it by itself. Will you come with us? or will you be staying here? perhaps.
     

    Lexiphile

    Senior Member
    England English
    How about this, Thomas:
    "Bill, you're interferring! Let us get on with our work, will you?"

    "Ah, we're finished at last. Let's go home, shall we?"

    Admittedly, in both cases, the "n'est-ce pas" (or is it the "innit") on the end is purely retorical, but it is often heard.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Member Emeritus
    English - England
    How about this, Thomas:
    "Bill, you're interferring! Let us get on with our work, will you?"

    "Ah, we're finished at last. Let's go home, shall we?"

    Admittedly, in both cases, the "n'est-ce pas" (or is it the "innit") on the end is purely retorical, but it is often heard.
    Hi Lexiphile,

    Of course if let us go home means allow us to go home (2nd person plural imperative), then will you? is fine. In this case, of course, it has to be let us and cannot be let's.

    Perhaps naively, I assumed that nobody was keeping them captive, and I took the original post to be asking about let us go home - 1st person plural imperative ('Come on now; I want to go home, don't you think we all should').
     

    ruziniu_yang

    Member
    PR. China/Chinese
    The following is cited from Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.

    let's
    let's /lets/
    the short form of 'let us', used especially to make suggestions
     Let's go!
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SUGGESTIONS
    Use let's to make a suggestion about something you and someone else could do together. Let's ... is a fairly firm way to suggest something, and is usually used when you think the other person will agree : Let's go somewhere different tonight! | Let's start by introducing ourselves.

    This can be easily interpreted in Chinese. But what fatbaby is wondering is "How came there is a connotation behind them?". I think conventions are not formed in one or two days, so the question may have something to do with the development of English in history, and is difficult to answer.
     

    Lexiphile

    Senior Member
    England English
    But wait!!

    The preacher always says "Let us pray." I'm sure he means it as 1st person plural. So he could say (perhaps if he's not too certain of the response :) ): "Let us pray, shall we?".
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Let can signify a grammatical mood that is sometimes called "hortative", which means to urge, encourage or seek agreement on a proposed action, or it can mean "allow":

    If your sentence is intended to seek agreement on an action it must be:
    Let's go home, shall we?
    "Will you" is wrong both in that the mood is to seek agreement on a shared action, so "let us" must be agreed with using "we", and in that "will" can't be used in the first persons singular and plural in this sense (indicating offers and suggestions).

    However, in the sense of "allow", "will you" could be used. However, this would be a request to a third party ("you") to allow "us" to go home.

    "Let us" is formal and "let's" is conversational, in the "hortative" sense the difference is a matter of register only. As has been pointed out, in the "allow" sense, it can't be contracted.
     

    ruziniu_yang

    Member
    PR. China/Chinese
    Hi Lexiphile,

    Of course if let us go home means allow us to go home (2nd person plural imperative), then will you? is fine. In this case, of course, it has to be let us and cannot be let's.

    Perhaps naively, I assumed that nobody was keeping them captive, and I took the original post to be asking about let us go home - 1st person plural imperative ('Come on now; I want to go home, don't you think we all should').

    I've got what you mean. But you were trying to explain the sentence in reference to pragmatics, while Lexiphile and fatbaby were concerining theirselves about its semantic meaning.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Member Emeritus
    English - England
    I've got what you mean. But you were trying to explain the sentence in reference to pragmatics, while Lexiphile and fatbaby were concerining theirselves about its semantic meaning.

    Hi Yang,

    You may well be right, but you are going to have to explain yourself a little more, because I've no idea what you mean. What is this distinction you are drawing between pragmatics and semantic meaning?
     

    ruziniu_yang

    Member
    PR. China/Chinese
    Hi Yang,

    You may well be right, but you are going to have to explain yourself a little more, because I've no idea what you mean. What is this distinction you are drawing between pragmatics and semantic meaning?

    Pragmatics studies what people mean by language in context, while semantic meaning refers to the denotation of linguistic forms.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Member Emeritus
    English - England
    So you are saying that Lexiphile was not concerned with what the words mean in the context given, and that Fatbaby, although he asked the question, doesn't want to know what words people would use to express this meaning in the context? I'm surprised.
     

    panjandrum

    Senior Member
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Without the tag question, there is no way to tell, grammatically, whether Let us go home is a suggestion or a request.
    But in practice, I suggest that the norm, now, is to say Let's go home as a suggestion and Let us go home as a request.
     

    Beautifully

    Senior Member
    Korea, Korean
    Hello everyone!
    I just heard that two expression are slightly different.
    Let's go / let us go.
    Would you drop your noble answer for me to understand?
    Best wishes! Good luck to everyone!
     

    LadyDungeness

    Banned
    ** Oregon USA ** English **
    More context would be helpful. But I'll try:

    Let's go = I am suggestion for us to go now ... it's ordinary, typical speech

    let us go = different meanings, depending on context. It could mean (1) let's go -- but said in a very formal way; too formal; so formal that it's unnatural. Or, it could mean (2) permit us to leave. Maybe, let us out of jail, permit us to leave the country.

    Context please?

    Lady Dungeness
     

    la grive solitaire

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    Hmm. They both mean the same. I'd say that Let's go is used almost exclusively in spoken (and often, written) American English. Let us go is more formal (and for me, irresistibly brings to mind the opening lines of T.S. Eliot's "Prufrock")

    Let us go then, you and I,
    when the evening is spread out against the sky...

    http://www.bartleby.com/198/1.html
     

    Beautifully

    Senior Member
    Korea, Korean
    As you guys have replied good enough, I 've reached what I wanted to know.
    I am so sorry for not showing tag question that you guys must have been hard to explain.
    Fundamentally, as I understood it to mean, Let's go home as a suggestion and Let us go home as a request.
     

    Avignonais

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, Anglophone
    Basically, to summarize the good and technical explanations in the other thread: "Let us go home" can mean 2 things, one of which can be shortened to "Let's go home".
    (1) "Let us go home, shall we?" (suggestion that we go home) can be shortened to "Let's go home, shall we?""
    (2) "Let us go home, will you?" (Meaning "Will you let us go home, please?") can NOT be shortened to "Let's".
     

    M.Emin2330

    New Member
    Turkish
    let us go home, will you? as far as I know "will you-won't you-would you-could you-can you and can't you" can be used for positive imperative sentences to be more polite and this is a positive imperative sentence so can we use "won't you-would you-could you-can you and can't you" instead of will you?
    THANKS IN ADVANCE :)
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Let's go home, shall we? :tick:First person plural imperative, suggesting to another person or to the group that "we" should go home.
    Let us go home, will you?:thumbsdown: If you've read the whole thread, you will see that this is quite an unlikely third person imperative. In addition, that tag sounds very dated. I don't think any speaker today would use it if they were being held prisoner and they were begging to be allowed to go home.

    How do you intend to use the variations you suggest, i.e. in what context? :)
     

    M.Emin2330

    New Member
    Turkish
    For this "Let us go home, will you?" (Meaning "Will you let us go home, please?") can NOT be shortened to "Let's". "
    can we say Let us go home, won't you?
    or Let us go home, could you?
    let us go home, would you?
    let us go home can you?
    let us go home can't you?
    these are about permission
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I find all those tag questions quite unnatural with that particular sentence. In theory you can use them.

    In practice, these are all possible:
    Will you/won't you/can you/could you/can't you let us go home (please)?
     

    M.Emin2330

    New Member
    Turkish
    Let us go home, will you? we can use this(will you) right?
    also in theory we can use /won't you/can you/could you/can't you as a tag question for Let us go home but It is not natural
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Member Emeritus
    English - England
    Let us go home, will you? we can use this(will you) right?
    also in theory we can use /won't you/can you/could you/can't you as a tag question for Let us go home but It is not natural
    I don't think there's much point in addressing this question unless each poster is clear about the context:

    Let us go home - We've been out on this walk for long enough; we should return, it's getting cold, etc.

    Let us go home - Please unlock the door to this prison cell and allow us to return to our friends and families.

    Most of the natives initially assumed we were considering the first context.
     

    M.Emin2330

    New Member
    Turkish
    I don't think there's much point in addressing this question unless each poster is clear about the context:

    Let us go home - We've been out on this walk for long enough; we should return, it's getting cold, etc.

    Let us go home - Please unlock the door to this prison cell and allow us to return to our friends and families.

    Most of the natives initially assumed we were considering the first context.
    Sir
    actually my question is about tag questions
    which tag questions can I use for your second example?
     
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