54 votes

Does English use the word ‘thou’ in any situations nowadays?

Thou/thee/thy/thine still exist in some dialects in British English. However, unless you are one of those who speak the dialect, it is not used in general spoken and written English. https://en....
  • 32.5k
50 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between “they” and “it” for people, especially for those people who identify as non-binary?

Indeed, it is rude to refer to a person as "it", which is the pronoun for objects and animals (except sometimes when the animal's sex is known). You shouldn't use it for people. Singular ...
  • 59.8k
27 votes

Who is "we" in my thesis?

It's a nosism (because weism is too close to bathroom humor), specifically the author's we. Similar to the editorial "we", pluralis modestiae is the practice common in mathematical and scientific ...
  • 3,748
26 votes

Does English use the word ‘thou’ in any situations nowadays?

To the great majority of English speakers, 'thou' only sounds like quasi-theatrical, Shakespearean, or Biblical speech. Currently, it is not recognized grammatically as anything other than an archaic ...
  • 69.7k
24 votes

The hidden flaw in "singular they"—what to do about reflexive pronouns?

John Fortescue, The Difference Between an Absolute and Limited Monarchy (written around 1471 according to Wikipedia but published under that name in 1714) uses the word themself three times in the ...
  • 154k
24 votes

Why is emphatic "Yes, I know THAT" okay, but not "Yes, I know IT"?

Aside from the fascinating history of "h" enunciation, I think the primary reasons that "it" seems less common as a candidate for a contextual stress that discriminates one pronoun ...
  • 5,668
23 votes
Accepted

The hidden flaw in "singular they"—what to do about reflexive pronouns?

“Themself” Themself was used in the past, and there is no law or authority that prohibits anyone from using it today. I have used it in personal correspondence, conscious of its rebellious and ...
  • 86.6k
21 votes
Accepted

Is the signature of a letter a subject or an object?

The default pronoun to use in English is the objective case. See this EL&U.SE answer. For example, if you were to label a picture, you would label it "me at the beach in 2011" and not "I at the ...
20 votes
Accepted

"Alex and I" vs. "me and Alex"

You would use "X and I" if you and X are the subject of the verb. You would use "X and me" if you and X are the object of the verb. For example: "Smith and I are going to the store." "She gave the ...
  • 316
19 votes

Is there a correct gender-neutral singular pronoun ("his" vs. "her" vs. "their")?

Here is a comprehensive answer from Oxford Dictionaries Website: What should you do in sentences such as these? If your child is thinking about a gap year, ? can get good advice from this ...
  • 842
19 votes
Accepted

Choice of “it” versus “he/she”

In a comment John Lawler wrote: It's my aunt at the door is grammatical, and therefore so is it's my aunt. The it is a dummy and doesn't refer to your aunt.
18 votes
Accepted

Is there a grammatical name for the third-person 'you'?

I believe it's called "generic you." From Wikipedia: In English grammar and in particular in casual English, generic you, impersonal you or indefinite you is the pronoun you in its use in ...
  • 210
18 votes

Is there a grammatical name for the third-person 'you'?

This is called an impersonal pronoun, and it is equivalent to using one. It is just a convention we have in English that we can use the second person pronoun in this context. Other languages have ...
  • 567
15 votes
Accepted

Pronunciation of "xe" and "xyr"

Xe is more like /zi/ as it seems. Same with xyr. References: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/xyr https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/xe
  • 313
15 votes

What is the possessive case and the objective case of "ye?"

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).
  • 22.4k
15 votes

Does English use the word ‘thou’ in any situations nowadays?

The term "holier-than-thou" remains in somewhat common usage, probably explicitly because the "thou" sounds both antiquated and Biblical.
15 votes

Why is emphatic "Yes, I know THAT" okay, but not "Yes, I know IT"?

The word "it" usually isn't the subject of emphasis in the sentences in which it is used. However, it is possible to come up with situations where "it" is actually the word ...
  • 251
14 votes

Why is emphatic "Yes, I know THAT" okay, but not "Yes, I know IT"?

Intriguing question. Looking into it I found some interesting facts. Wikipedia says: Old English had a single third-person pronoun hit and was used for both people and objects (inanimate or abstract)....
  • 21.3k
13 votes

Did noted 17th century poet Katherine Philips make a grammatical error?

At the time Philips wrote the poem, around the middle of the 17th century, the use of 'I' as the object of a verb or preposition was (sometimes) considered grammatical. As noted in the entry under I, ...
  • 32.1k
13 votes
Accepted

Does English use the word ‘thou’ in any situations nowadays?

The Only thing I can think of is if a suitor were being extremely formal in a proposal of marriage: Wouldst thou do me the honor.... It might also be used in a light teasing manner, pretending to be ...
  • 253
13 votes

Does English use the word ‘thou’ in any situations nowadays?

Regarding the idea of using thou to, as you put it, humiliate an opponent by being overly familiar, that would not work in English because most English speakers don't know that thou used to be the ...
  • 1,595
13 votes

What is the difference between “they” and “it” for people, especially for those people who identify as non-binary?

In English, different pronouns are used depending on the animacy of what is referred to. There are three cases: People are referred to using "he," "she," or "they" (or ...
11 votes

Is there a correct gender-neutral singular pronoun ("his" vs. "her" vs. "their")?

Novelist Anthony Burgess suggested that a gender-neutral, all-inclusive, singular subject pronoun could be formed by combining she, he and it, to form shit. Following this formula, the gender-neutral, ...
  • 3,375
11 votes
Accepted

"We rarely go on holiday." Can I say "Us neither"?

As mentioned above, it's all down to usage and "us neither" is not commonly used, with people preferring the phrase "neither do we" - for that reason I would stick with saying "neither do we". I ...
11 votes

Is “her” a possessive or an objective pronoun in “A mother takes care of her children”?

A mother takes care of her children. The Original Poster is correct. The word her here is a possessive pronoun in determinative function. The complement or object of the preposition of is the noun ...
11 votes

'She' as sentence object

anything in my life that had not been she.' she is the nominative complement of "to be". It is technically correct and stylistically means "herself". Compare: A: "Who is ...
  • 32.5k
10 votes

Is there a correct gender-neutral singular pronoun ("his" vs. "her" vs. "their")?

October 2017 5.48: Singular they (footnote from the Chicago Manual of Style Online October 2017) The generic singular they was endorsed in 2015 by the editors of the Washington Post, though with a ...
  • 1,012
10 votes

When do I use "I" instead of "me?"

It depends on what you mean by “correct”. As others have confirmed, your method of removing the other coordinated noun phrases, then checking if you have the correct case for the single remaining ...
  • 76.1k
10 votes
Accepted

Reflexive pronoun use when subject is a subset of the prepositional object

If I were the writer, I'd say John bought the tickets for himself and me The reflexive pronoun is better placed after the subject and the verb phrase. Otherwise an even easier workaround would ...
  • 86.6k

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