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I have been reading a book titled "the Female Persuasion." There is a phrase with a infinitive be-verb, which I am curious about why "be" should be instead of am.

"I wasn't supposed to be here at Ryland, actually. It was all a big mistake, but it happened, and it isn't fixable."

"Is that right?" he asked. "You were supposed to be at another college?"

"Yes. Somewhere much better."

"Oh yeah? Where is that?"

"Yale."

He laughed. "That's a good one." "I was," she said. Then, more indignantly, "I got in."

"Sure you did"

I did. But it didn't work out, and it's too complicated to go into. So here I be."

"Here you be," Darren Tinzler said.

Why in the bold text is "here I be" used instead of "here I am"? Just to emphasize it?

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"I be" is not correct grammar in standard English, but it's a form used in certain dialects. See for example What dialect is “I be doing this”? on the English Language & Usage SE - the answers don't have much in the way of supporting evidence, but at least that question makes clear that "I be" is known as a dialect form of "I am".

The character speaking in this passage, Greer Kadetsky, is from the USA (specifically Connecticut?) I don't know enough about different US accents to know if her use of this phrase is meant to tell us something about her background, or if it's just an affectation, a funny way of saying "here I am" which doesn't sound as mundane as just "here I am".

  • As far as I know, people in Connecticut don't typically use Here I be in ordinary speech. – Peter Shor Oct 30 at 12:30
  • @PeterShor Could it be a class thing? Indicating someone "from the wrong side of the railway tracks" or so? – Rand al'Thor Oct 30 at 14:51
  • I don't think so; be is definitely used in southern or AAVE non-standard dialects (I don't think this construction fits for AAVE, though). However, this is Connecticut, and I don't think I've heard anybody from the Northeast use be like this. – Peter Shor Oct 30 at 15:01

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