2nd person plural in English

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2nd person plural in English

Postby Saaropean » 2002-09-25, 14:07

Just a little question for the native English speakers: Would you consider "you guys" as a personal pronoun for the second person plural?
I heard that so often in North America, even in occasions where a German would never use anything else than the polite "Sie" (Spanish "ustedes").
Your comments (I mean the comments of you guys :) ) are appreciated.

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Postby proycon » 2002-09-25, 14:44

You also can often see "You-all" if one needs to make a difference between the two.
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Postby nosafety » 2002-09-25, 15:39

"You" would be the proper polite way to use the 2nd person plural, possibly accompanied by such niceties as "Ladies and Gentlemen" or "Sir" as a form of address. "You guys," "you-all," or "y'all" should be fine in familiar surroundings, but it you're trying to be polite, it's not the way to go.

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Postby Mark_dflsi » 2002-09-25, 17:20

I use "thou" as 2nd person singular to help differentiate if I need to.

"you all" and "yall" sound too... country-bumpkin like, and you willl sound... err... lol.
<tt>
I
me
my
mine

thou
thee
thy
thine

it he she
it him her
its his her
its his hers

we
us
our
ours

you
you
your
yours

they
them
their
theirs
</tt>

It's also helpful to know proper conjugations for 2nd person singular and 3rd person singular if you wish to differentiate in verb conjugation... but... lol.

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Postby Francy » 2002-09-25, 19:21

I once heard that "you all" is a typical way to express the 2nd plurar person in USA, in particalar in the southern states... is it true?
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Postby NulNuk » 2002-09-25, 19:25

thou
thee
thy
thine


I couldnt find those words in any dictionary ,but I allready herd before
the "thee" thingy (the rest is the first time) ,is that official lenguage or
only poetic lenguage or some thing from old English?
and what is the diference bitween "thee" and "you" ?
is there a reason why no one use this words?
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Release me from the duty of being polite and remind you, "I made use of my own brain".

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Postby Francy » 2002-09-25, 19:45

They're old English, and were used mainly to talk directly to a king or a sir... Like the Spanish usted, or the Italian voi but said only to a single person not a group, which is more polite than a lei.

It was carried on only in Liturgic language, and in the translations of the Bible when they talk to God, thy in particular means your and thine yours.
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Postby Patricia » 2002-09-25, 19:47

NulNuk wrote:
thou
thee
thy
thine


I couldnt find those words in any dictionary ,but I allready herd before
the "thee" thingy (the rest is the first time) ,is that official lenguage or
only poetic lenguage or some thing from old English?
and what is the diference bitween "thee" and "you" ?
is there a reason why no one use this words?


They are old forms of the pronouns...get any of Shakespeare's plays and you'll find plenty of them.

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Postby NulNuk » 2002-09-25, 21:22

yap, there is where I saw them before ,I have a book with all
Shakespeare's writings, but I can`t read it ,the English in the book
still to hard to enjoy the book ,I dont like to read books using a
dictionary :0{ ,but maybe I`ll read it one day ( I must justufy all the
mony I speand on the book before I found out how hard is it ,and the
nice ilustrations are no anough for that price :0{ ).
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Release me from the duty of being polite and remind you, "I made use of my own brain".

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2002-09-26, 5:19

Francy wrote:They're old English, and were used mainly to talk directly to a king or a sir... Like the Spanish usted, or the Italian voi but said only to a single person not a group, which is more polite than a lei.


According to what I've read, though, it was the other way round. "Thou" used to be the plain/informal form of address, and "ye" (latter "you") was both the 2nd person plural and the polite/formal way of addressing someone, especially when such a person was higher in rank than you. However, as "thou" became archaic, people started feeling it had a more "formal" flavour, and that's why many people today think of them as being formal forms.

That can be seen especially in the King James version of the Bible (which I like reading a lot) and in a few formulas already used by that time (such as Your Majesty—and not *Thy Majesty).
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Postby Psi-Lord » 2002-09-26, 5:53

Francy wrote:I once heard that "you all" is a typical way to express the 2nd plurar person in USA, in particalar in the southern states... is it true?


That reminds me—is "you lot" still used in British English the way Americans would use "you all"?
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THOU IS/WAS INFORMAL!!!!

Postby nosafety » 2002-09-26, 5:55

Yes, thou is informal...when Thou is used toward God, it is informal. The same holds true in German with its equivalent du. You is not something one would use with royalty either. Such things as "Your Highness/Majesty," etc. apply. Y'all is extremely common in the South, especially Texas, and around the Mississipi River, but many southeasterners try to feign more culture than that, what from their noble past or whatever they think they have down there.

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Postby Francy » 2002-09-26, 19:47

Thank you very much Psi-Lord, I never knew the distinction you pointed out and since I'm not so keen on the King James version in riginal language and I heard the use of thee or thou only during the mass, I made a mistake!! Thank you again, what you said is really very interesting to me!!
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Postby Psi-Lord » 2002-09-27, 6:08

The first times I had to deal with "thou" vs "you", I also thought the former was actually the formal pronoun, and it took me a while to find out I was wrong about it.

But then, I can say the same thing happens here in Brazil. In Brazilian Portuguese, "tu" (2nd person singular) has been dropped by most speakers, and "vós" (2nd person plural) has become completely archaic in everyday language, being replaced by "você" (singular) and "vocês" (plural). However, since "tu" and "vós" are still used in religious and poetic language, many people are led to think that they're more formal, and that "você" would be the plain pronoun to use; "você", as a matter of fact, is derived from "Vossa Mercê" (= "Your Mercy"), an old formal/polite addressing formula. Such a distinction has been downright lost though, and is just historical background.

In European Portuguese, though, the distinction remains—"você" is the formal/polite form of address, and "tu" is the informal/plain one (please, Luís, correct me on that if I'm wrong, would you?). Which reminds me of an article I once read, taken from Pasquale Cipro Neto's "Inculta & Bela" (ISBN 85-7402-126-1):

"Desculpa" e "desculpe"

Uma amiga esteve em Portugal. Andando pelas históricas ruas de Coimbra — talvez encantada com o que via —, literalmente colidiu com uma senhora, que desabou. "Desculpa", disse minha amiga. Pobre amiga. Mal sabia que acabara de dar dupla munição à senhora.

O primeiro erro foi andar desatentamente e derrubar a pobre criatura, já distante da tenra idade. O segundo foi dizer "desculpa" a uma pessoa mais velha e nunca vista antes. O que se seguiu foi acalorado discurso formalista da vítima: "Jogas-me ao chão e ainda me dás o tu. Quem pensas que és?". Esquecida das aulas de gramática, minha amiga não entendeu nada do que disse a senhora portuguesa. Considerou-a maluca. De pedra.

Na volta de Portugal, quando me encontrou, relatou-me o ocorrido. Adorei a história. É prova cabalíssima da importância do conhecimento de todas as variantes da língua — a culta incluída, é claro. Sim, a culta, porque nas cidades médias e grandes de Portugal o que se ouve no dia-a-dia muitas vezes é bem próximo do que no Brasil só se ouve em aulas de gramática. No caso, o que está em jogo é a diferença entre formalidade e informalidade.

Em espanhol e em italiano, por exemplo, essa diferença é mais do que clara. Usted, em espanhol, é tratamento respeitoso. Corresponde a "senhor" ou "senhora" (e não a "você", pelo amor de Deus!). É pronome de terceira pessoa e por isso exige o verbo e os outros pronomes também na terceira pessoa. Em italiano, o pronome de cerimônia é lei, também para homens e mulheres e também de terceira pessoa. Em espanhol, em italiano e no português de Portugal, o pronome de intimidade é "tu", igual nas três línguas.

Se você já se esqueceu das regras de formação do imperativo afirmativo, é bom lembrar que a segunda do singular, ou seja, "tu", vem do presente do indicativo, sem o "s". Para o verbo "andar", por exemplo, a forma seria "anda" (andas - s = anda): "Como és mole, rapaz. Anda logo!".

O que disse minha amiga? "Desculpa", imperativo da segunda pessoa (desculpas - s = desculpa). Em Portugal, essa forma é usada para "tu", ou seja, para pessoas íntimas, ou muito mais novas. Dirigindo-se a pessoa mais velha ou desconhecida, emprega-se a terceira pessoa (senhor/senhora): "Desculpe".

Para nós, tudo isso parece um grande absurdo. Não temos o hábito de diferenciar o tratamento pessoal pela forma verbal ou pronominal. [...]
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Postby *rabidirishofusa » 2005-05-18, 18:58

Here's what I'd reccommend for usage of 2nd pronouns in america-
Formally, you should use just plain "you" for plural, unless making a big speech or something.
You will look like an idiot if you use thou/thee/thine. It is totally unused in modern times, unless in the King James or Shakespeare is modern to you. Informally, Y'all is OK. Some Northerners (like me) will use this when we specifically mean "all". "you guys" is definitly the most common- FYI it is entirely acceptable to use this when refering to females.

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Postby Chico-Nico » 2005-05-23, 1:48

Let's see, I tend to see "you all" and "you." I don't really say "y'all" because that's a Southern thing, and I'm not from the South (I refuse to accept Virginia as a southern state!). I laugh whenever I hear "y'all" though.
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Postby Stan » 2005-05-23, 1:51

Chico-Nico wrote:Let's see, I tend to see "you all" and "you." I don't really say "y'all" because that's a Southern thing, and I'm not from the South (I refuse to accept Virginia as a southern state!). I laugh whenever I hear "y'all" though.

And I refuse to accept Florida as a southern state! :lol:

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Postby JackFrost » 2005-05-23, 1:56

Like it or not guys, you two live south of the Mason-Dixon line....the old borderline between the North and the South. ;)
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Postby Chico-Nico » 2005-05-23, 1:57

I agree with you. There are too many Latinos in Florida for it to be a southern state. Que viva Miami!
Я буду солнце петь, небо петь. Я буду на тебя не смотреть.

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Postby Chico-Nico » 2005-05-23, 1:59

I refuse to accept it :-P I'm Spanish for goodness sake! I don't even sound like a southerner.
Я буду солнце петь, небо петь. Я буду на тебя не смотреть.


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