I'm reading Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, and I notice that she invariably uses an apostrophe with possessive pronouns — in a way that would be considered incorrect now. For example: (Elinor is ...
Where did the practice of using apostrophes for possessive nouns but not pronouns originate? For example, possessive nouns (both proper and common) are written with a apostrophe before the final s: ...
I know that they, them, and their did not exist in Old English. What language are they derived from?
Possible Duplicate: Why “themselves” and “himself” I = myself you = yourself he = himself she = herself it = itself we = ourselves you = yourselves they = ...
Related question: Did English ever have a formal version of "you"? In Portuguese (and probably other languages as well), similar to what happens with the second-person, there are two words ...
The pronoun 'he' used generically, as well as a lot of words including "man-kind" or generic "man" are sex-biased and are not acceptable. However, not so long ago, they were the proper used terms for ...
I know that its is the possessive and it's is the contraction, and know when to use them. But why doesn't the possessive have an apostrophe? "The bear's eating a fish." [contraction] "The bear's ...
Other languages have gender-specific third-person plural pronouns (e.g., ellos and ellas in Spanish). English does not, despite the masculine/feminine/neuter distinction being obligatory in the ...
From the top of my head, Danish "De" (practically never used), German "Sie", Chinese "您", French "vous", Spanish "usted" are a formal way of addressing someone, especially if one isn't familiar with ...