That's not how English works, right?

“It’s not like you to abstain from alcohol. Unless maybe, are you pregnant?”

Shouldn’t it be something like “It’s not like you abstain from alcohol.” or “It’s not like you’re abstaining from alcohol.”

I’m starting to doubt myself more and more while writing this but it just seems like a really wrong sentence.

Conclusion: That is, in fact, how English works. I suppose I was tired lol.


I feel like ellipsis are more appropriate than a comma, but otherwise, it seems like just conversational English put into writing.

I honestly don’t read a lot of the example sentences, but when I do, there are certainly some fun ones.


It would help to explicitly spell out what you think the error you found is, so we don’t have to guess based on varying levels of tolerance for what people consider an “error.”


I thought the error was kind of obvious. Maybe I’m the one making a mistake after all, who knows…

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“It’s not like you to…” is a way of saying that the specified thing is out of character for someone. It’s not the most common phrase in regular everyday conversation, at least not in my experience.


It’s a perfectly fine sentence, so are the other two you wrote. They just have different nuances.

“It’s not like you to go in guns blazing.” - remarking someone’s current behaviour to how they usually behave
“It’s not like you go in guns blazing.” - remarking a given rule
“It’s not like you’re going in guns blazing.” - remarking an alternative of what the person’s about to do.


I was about to write this, too. Also, I have had English teachers tell me similar things.
Is this a fuzzy area for native speakers?

I mean, I would have never thought of this question had the guy not brought it up. Maybe he’s not a native speaker? The last two are almost interchangeable I’d say, but you’d be hard pressed to make a mistake with them. So no, I wouldn’t say it’s a fuzzy area.


Good point :slight_smile: !

Yeah, “It’s not like you to [something]” is normal.

“It’s not like you to get up late” (You don’t usually get up late)
“It’s not like you to forget your homework” (You don’t usually forget your homework)
et cetera


Seems like perfectly idiomatic English to me. :man_shrugging:

Edit to add:

Here’s a Stack Exchange thread on the topic:

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“It’s not like X to Y” is a fairly common English phrase and here’s it’s being used as a translation of らしい・らしくない。Meaning “(not) becoming of” “(not) typical of” or maybe “(not) X-ish”.


The construction “It’s not like you to…” has a different meaning from your suggested “It’s not like you’re …”. The former expresses an observation at what would be abnormal behavior on the part of the person they are talking to (if it’s expressed in the present), or a perception on the part of the speaker that the person did something that was out of character.

ex. “John is always punctual. It’s not like him to be late.”
“You’re going to AA? You love drinking, it’s not like you to take a break.”


It’s not like you to not know how English works, right?


Heading off on a tangent here, but “ellipsis” is singular. The plural is “ellipses”. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I have to agree with these folks: the sentence is correct! But I understand how you could get confused :slight_smile:

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Okay, but wait, so plural of ellipsis is ellipses, so does that mean multiple sets of ellipsis? Or does ellipsis just represent one dot and ellipses three dots?


If anything, the second half sounds more clunky to me. “Unless maybe, are you pregnant?” sounds strange imo, whether it’s the word choice, word order, or grammar. “Unless, maybe… Are you pregnant?” sounds more prose-like, or “unless, maybe you’re pregnant?”

Or maybe I also don’t speak english


I don’t know if this has anything to do with anything but since starting in on Japanese study my English (native language) has kind of a little bit gone to heck in a handbasket. The more minutes I spend reading or listening or translating in a given day the more likely I am to make blazingly ridiculous and completely unprecedented speaking and comprehension errors. I don’t know why but I expect to be thrown off by native English language constructions at random more and more frequently as I progress…is that how English works? :stuck_out_tongue:


One ellipsis is three dots. :slightly_smiling_face: