I know very well that archaically, "thou" is the nominative case for the modern day "you" while "thee" is the accusative case and that there is no distinction between the nominative and accusative cases in modern English, (both "you.") I know the same for "I" and "me," "he" and "him," "she" and "her," "we" and "us," and "they" and "them," nominative and accusative respectively. However, I have scoured the Earth looking for the accusative (objective) case of "ye." I have just been assuming that it was simply just "ye," but I am searching for a definitive answer. Similarly, what is the possessive case of "ye?" Essentially, what is the word for "to all of you" and "all of your" in archaic times (the second person plural accusative and possessive pronouns?)

  • 5
    It’s almost too obvious, but it’s simply you and your. At least originally; there was a period of change when ye was also used both as subject and object, singular and plural, before the old accusative plural eventually took over the whole business. And of course there are dialects which now use ye for the plural (both cases) and you for the singular, which is historically ridonkulous, but perfectly common. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 23 '18 at 23:06
  • Possible duplicate of Peculiar mix of "ye" and "you" – herisson Dec 23 '18 at 23:48
  • You are missing the fact that "thou", "thee" and "thine" were the informal singular pronouns similar to the French "tu" and its related pronouns while "you" "ye" and "your" were the plural and formal pronouns similar to the French "vous" and its related pronouns. Formal English has only had one set of pronouns for the second person for a couple of centuries and "ye" was dropped about the same time. – BoldBen Dec 23 '18 at 23:49
  • 1
    @BoldBen It’s not stated outright in the question, but the way I read it, Leo does understand that thou was singular and ye was plural (the informal/formal distinction may be a different matter). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 24 '18 at 0:02

In Early Modern English, ye was the nominative case and the objective and possessives were the familiar you (objective), your (possessive determiner) and yours (possessive pronoun).

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Really informative answer ....For me, this website is the intellectual equivelent of standing in a room naked with a bunch of adult movie stars. My brain feels limp and useless lol. I can speak English, but clearly from reading your answer I don't know much about it. – Big T Larrity Dec 24 '18 at 17:42

Genesis 18:5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant.

Here is an example from the Bible showing all versions in a single sentence.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    Which is which case? – Mitch Dec 23 '18 at 23:22
  • 3
    All versions… except the object form which is the main point in this question. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 23 '18 at 23:28
  • 1
    It looks like the first ye is the indirect object of comfort, if I (i.e, God) is still the subject of comfort, saying "(I will) comfort ye your hearts". It's strange to see a nominative in that position. – John Lawler Dec 24 '18 at 3:06
  • 3
    @JohnLawler: It looks like the verb rendered as "comfort" is an imperative in the Hebrew original (Vulgate has an imperative too), so this "ye" is probably an honest nominative. – hmakholm left over Monica Dec 24 '18 at 6:38
  • 4
    KJV Genesis 17:11 has all three of the English cases for ye: And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. – Michaelyus Dec 24 '18 at 10:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.