What does "you a stranger" mean?



I was reading a book and I noticed a strange sentence for me. "It was brave of you to help Arthur - and you a stranger". What does "you a stranger" mean? Is it a shortened "you are a stranger"?

Daniel Nowels

Posted 2020-05-21T12:02:28.343

Reputation: 91

6It means 'even though you were a stranger to him'. The person who helped Arthur had not met him before. – Kate Bunting – 2020-05-21T12:06:05.773

2To expand on Kate's comment, it is also an indication of an idiolect of the speaker. It is not grammatically correct, but shows the kind of speech the character has. – kaipmdh – 2020-05-21T13:28:26.480

@kaipmdh Is it really incorrect? I don't see why it should be bad to omit the verb 'being'. – Micah Windsor – 2020-05-21T13:34:26.297

@MicahWindsor my brain interpreted the part after the dash as its own clause requiring its own verb if we were being grammatically nit-picky. But I could be intepreting the clause construction wrong! – kaipmdh – 2020-05-21T13:38:23.703

2Try reading it as an absolute construction, @kaipmdh. It's a loosely-attached noun phrase with a post-positive modifier. It's just that the post-postive doesn't happen to include a participle. – Gary Botnovcan – 2020-05-21T13:47:47.333

@GaryBotnovcan cheers! – kaipmdh – 2020-05-21T13:51:22.573

2It's normal. "Caught stealing! And you a policeman!" , "So you're pregnant - and you a nun!". – Michael Harvey – 2020-05-21T14:25:08.000


See written instances of "exclamatory" *and him a lawyer* reflecting that *even though* sense.

– FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2020-05-21T16:59:38.790



There is a missing but implied verb. You have the correct verb, but wrong tense.

"It was brave of you to help Arthur - and you [being] a stranger."

For full clarity, what the speaker is actually saying is:

"It was brave of you to help Arthur - and [even more brave with] you [being] a stranger [to him]."


Posted 2020-05-21T12:02:28.343

Reputation: 1 083


It means in context the following :

You were brave to help considering 'you a stranger'

i.e. You are a stranger around here AND/Or You are a stranger to Arther.

ie. You have no friends or allies here to back you up. AND/Or You owed Arther nothing.

Punish the wicked

Posted 2020-05-21T12:02:28.343

Reputation: 56


" A stranger " is a complement of " you " and together they an extension of the main sentence with a reinforcement of "help" from unexpected quarters.

To make it simple, we know verbs as well as prepositions take objects and when those objects are not complete by themselves, they take complements. Let me take the liberty to rewrite your sentence:

  • It was brave of you a stranger to help Arthur!

That completes the intended meaning but the tag in your sentence gains in intensity. However one may be inclined to call " a stranger " an appositive. But as it has no coma before ( , ) I'll go with the objective complement explanation.

Barid Baran Acharya

Posted 2020-05-21T12:02:28.343

Reputation: 942


"-and you a stranger." what he's trying to do here is:

I see this as a sort of a strategy for some script writers to deliver the importance of such characters whose playing a Big Role on the Narratives. But being disregarded at some point.

Remember getting through the first Season of this Anime called the "One Punch Man?"

It's a way to grab the Audience's excitement to feel embarrass at first but suddenly feels proud and develops a bragging rights to celebrate when the revelation has come, about the true identity of that character who've they think is just a stranger and not that important.

I bet you're starting to feel it on Season (2) when Saitama's starting to claim the credits he rightfully deserved. haha!

Mickhael Chua Bajandi

Posted 2020-05-21T12:02:28.343

Reputation: 15


They were explaining to the person how kind they were to help even though they were a stranger. As most strangers would choose not to help and go on with their day.

"You a stranger" is a quicker way of saying "You're a stranger", in most books (especially older books) if the character is of African descent/ black, they are usually talking in Ebonics, or slang.


Posted 2020-05-21T12:02:28.343

Reputation: 1


A phrase to convey the message that they do not care about you and that you are insignificant to them. They wanted you to feel just like how you made them feel that they don’t mean anything to you.

Alhaji S Koroma

Posted 2020-05-21T12:02:28.343

Reputation: 1

1I’ve tried to look at the statement from your point of view and can not see how this statement might be said in malice. It is a statement of praise. It implies that Arthur was helped by someone who did not have a vested interest in Arthur at possible peril to themselves. It sounds similar to the Story of the Good Samaritan. Now, if the person did not help Arthur, or helped Arthur for some selfish reason, or only helped because they knew Arthur, the statement can be taken as sarcasm. – Dean F. – 2020-07-07T21:04:52.993