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....
Greybeard's user avatar
  • 42k
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 ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 66.4k
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 ...
Peter K.'s user avatar
  • 3,766
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 ...
Mitch's user avatar
  • 71.4k
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 ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
  • 5,772
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 ...
Peter Shor 's user avatar
20 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.
19 votes

When is it acceptable to address someone else in the first person, as in the classic nurse's question to a patient: "How are we this morning?"

The use of “we” to indicate the singular has three forms, the first two of which refer to the first person singular: The first, used by rulers dates back to at least the 13th century: 1854 W. M. ...
Greybeard's user avatar
  • 42k
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 ...
bill's user avatar
  • 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 ...
Rhidian's user avatar
  • 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
SBM's user avatar
  • 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).
Mark Beadles's user avatar
  • 22.7k
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.
Yes - that Jake.'s user avatar
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 ...
Zayn's user avatar
  • 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)....
fev's user avatar
  • 33.2k
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, ...
JEL's user avatar
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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 ...
mtugglet's user avatar
  • 243
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 ...
Mark Foskey's user avatar
  • 1,869
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 ...
Tanner Swett's user avatar
  • 3,143
12 votes

When is it acceptable to address someone else in the first person, as in the classic nurse's question to a patient: "How are we this morning?"

Sharing a different perspective. We nurses, generally and one would hope, have a sense of empathy for those to whom we provide care. When the hypothetical nurse in this question asks about "we&...
zombiefeeder's user avatar
11 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 ...
Livrecache's user avatar
  • 1,032
11 votes
Accepted

Why is it common in English to address animals as "it"?

No, unlike many other Indo-European languages, current English has no default gender. Grammatically speaking, English does not have gender at all—the only gender that English marks at all is natural ...
Janus Bahs Jacquet's user avatar
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 ...
Greybeard's user avatar
  • 42k
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 ...
herisson's user avatar
  • 81.8k
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 ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
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10 votes
Accepted

Which pronoun is used for Spirit or Ghost and is there a rule that says we must use certain pronoun for the Spirit? Is it a common gender noun?

A distinction must be made here. When we refer to the Holy Spirit as one Person (or Hypostasis, as the Greek theologians call it) of the Holy Trinity, then the English language uses the gendered ...
fev's user avatar
  • 33.2k
9 votes

What is the difference between "thee" and "thou"?

A paradigm would help here: I, me, my (mine) we, us, our(s) thou, thee, thy (thine) you, you, your(s) he/she, him/her, his/her(s) they, them, their(s) A table would be ...
frank's user avatar
  • 1,251
9 votes

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

Before I answer I wish to state that I am a proud supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and don't particularly care what pronoun anyone prefers or chooses for themself, as long as it makes them feel ...
David M's user avatar
  • 22.5k
7 votes

"Being [he/him] is not easy." Which is prescriptively "correct"?

I cannot offer a systematic treatment of this subject, but I have found one interesting data point, English Grammar Simplified, Its Study Made Easy by James C Fernald, LHD (1916, which, alas, predates ...
deadrat's user avatar
  • 44.7k
7 votes

"Us Americans" or "We Americans"?

To address the points that @FumbleFingers raises in his bounty: Merriam-Webster Unabridged offers these observations in its definition of the pronominal us (albeit not without some nose-holding, and ...
Gnawme's user avatar
  • 40.9k

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