Linked Questions

16 votes
5 answers
6k views

What is the best way of conveying respect to elders in English? [duplicate]

In Afrikaans, it is considered very disrespectful to use "you" ( "jy") when referring to someone who is above the level of a peer. Instead, it is expected that you use "u", which is a very respectful ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
54k views

Why do we say "You are" when you is singular instead of "You is"? [duplicate]

The title really says it all. Since "you" can be singular or plural, why don't we say, "You is" when using "you" as singular? We say "he is" or "they are". Why is it different?
Matt M's user avatar
  • 113
2 votes
4 answers
5k views

In English, how do we use the polite form of address to somebody? [duplicate]

In French (my mother language), in order to be polite, we use "vous" (the second person of plurial) when we talk to another person who deserves respect (a boss, a teacher, etc.) and "tu" for a close ...
François Faucher's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why is there no formal version of "you"? How does one get around it? [duplicate]

Many languages, such as German (and Spanish), have "Sie" (you-formal) as a formal version of you. One can say use "Mr." and "Mrs.", but in a thank-you note / email, there is no formal word for English ...
Steven B.'s user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
889 views

When did formal "you" and "we" for showing respect in English wither away? [duplicate]

It appears that the current form of English only has the casual or irreverent form of pronouns like "you" and "I"; English lacks the formal or respectful version, which is present in many other ...
Krishnaraj Rao's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
69 views

Is there any respected you in English? [duplicate]

In almost every Dravidian language, there are two versions of you, one is friendly version and another one is a respect version. Is there any respected version of you in English?
hanugm's user avatar
  • 163
0 votes
0 answers
35 views

A respectful alternative to the word "you" or "your" [duplicate]

I want to know a respectful and formal alternative for the word you or your . In my native language there are respectful words for you. But in English you doesn't seem to be respectful for calling ...
Valoruz's user avatar
  • 101
0 votes
0 answers
10 views

Name of formal form of address [duplicate]

In some languages, such as Italian, when addressing someone who is senior to you or at a higher level with respect to some social hierarchy, it is customary not to use the second-person singular ...
Bordaigorl's user avatar
33 votes
5 answers
77k views

Did English ever have a "you" plural?

Apart from the dialect form used in the Southern US, "y'all," has English ever had a plural "you"? If not, how does English get around using this form?
gbutters's user avatar
  • 6,516
27 votes
5 answers
18k views

In what region is "thou", etc. used in dialect?

My mother often uses words like "thou", "thy", and "thine" in everyday speech. A typical example is: "Thou art a jammy bugger!" She is from the north of England. I'm wondering whether this quirk ...
victoriah's user avatar
  • 1,445
14 votes
6 answers
50k views

Can you also say "Take you care" or "Take you care, too"?

As a greeting in parting you often say "Take care" (at least in the US, I am not so sure about the UK). Can you also say "Take you care" or answer with "Take you care, too"?
vonjd's user avatar
  • 3,669
11 votes
9 answers
3k views

T-V distinction

In many languages, there is such thing as T-V distinction. Basically, it's when you use different pronouns in "formal" (or "polite") speech, and in informal speech. Now, I do realize there is no ...
SingerOfTheFall's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
5k views

Is there any reason why English doesn’t add respectful words in every sentence? [closed]

My mother tongue, Korean, and its neighbor Japanese have postpositions for expressing honoring the opposite in each sentence when we say to seniors or strangers if these are younger than the speaker. ...
Listenever's user avatar
  • 3,444
14 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why does second person only have 'you' whereas first person has "I" and "me"?

I am learning another language and that made me think of English pronouns. In the first person there is both "I" and "me", so that I can say "I like snakes" and "...
Jason Polak's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
6k views

What is the proper usage of "Y'all" in southern American dialects

The construction of the word to me implies that "you" is singular, whereas "y'all" is plural. To a football team: "Y'all are going to play a great game." To a tennis player: "You are going to play a ...
Chris Cudmore's user avatar

15 30 50 per page