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Good day, I've searched the web and I found a word "Thee" in anthem of Canada. For example in sentence "O Canada, we stand on guard for thee". Is the meaning of word "Thee" something like "you" ?

I've asked couple of my American friends and they said that they've never heard of word "thee". I'm not from English-Talking country, but I have level B2 of CEFR confirmed.

I'd be really glad if someone could explain that word to me and maybe use it in a sentence.

Thank you for any response, Best regards, Filip.

  • Possible duplicate of Difference between Thee and thou? – Laurel Jul 3 '17 at 18:58
  • Please use English Language Learners for questions of this sort. – David Jul 3 '17 at 18:59
  • Welcome to EL&U. One of the expectations of Stack Exchange is that you demonstrate your initial attempts at research; for example, simply looking up thee in the dictionary would tell you that it is the archaic or dialectical singular objective form of thou, which is the archaic or dialectical familiar form of you. – choster Jul 3 '17 at 18:59
  • Extremely surprising that your American friends never heard of the word "thee". The King James Version of the Bible (post popular translation for hundreds of years) is littered with it. – thomj1332 Jul 3 '17 at 20:16
  • @thomj1332 not to mention a good number of patriotic songs, not least the one that begins My country, 'tis of thee.... – phoog Jul 4 '17 at 4:05
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As already answered in comments, you could easily google it, but really there are two forms of "you" - for addressing single person and for addressing many. E.g. single and plural.

Single form previously was "thou" with its form "thee" (compare to "me").

However it fell out of use in recent centuries. Interesting that in Russian, for example, we use plural form when addressing single person in the form of respect. So we can think that English people are so polite and respectful that they always address each other with plural form. (I believe similar substitution with plurals is traced in Hebrew phrases from Bible sometimes, so it is not unique to our languages)

but I have level B2 of CEFR confirmed.

For B2 it is ok to be familiar with Shakespeare-like language features :)

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  • In Czech, we also use plural form when addressing single person, it's "formal". However, my question has been answered, thank you very much. PS: I've always hated Shakespeare in Czech language so there was no reason to read it in English. I've read another book :-) – RondomMC Jul 3 '17 at 19:15
  • @RondomMC you might like it in English. The European translations I'm familiar with were done in the 19th century, over 200 years later, and are plagued by a romantic stodginess that is refreshingly absent from the original. – phoog Jul 4 '17 at 4:09

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