1. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    Thee, Thy, Thou, Ye...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by SilverWolf0101, Nov 19, 2010.

    Okay, these have been explained to me time and time again, but for some odd reason, they're just not sticking in my memory. And I have a VERY good memory about words and definitions.

    My problem?
    Thee
    Thy
    Thou
    Ye
    And all those other old english ways of addressing a person.

    For some odd reason I just can't seem to remember exactly how to use them. I'm using them for a character in a story (currently editing/rewriting it). And right now, these words are really bugging me because they just don't seem to fit the sentence right. Here's an example from the book:

    I know the example is a little long, but its the only example I can really find at the moment that has enough dialogue from the one character that will show you how he speaks and how I use the words.

    But yeah, if there's some easy method to remembering these words and their uses. I'd love to know it, and please, feel free to edit this and tell me EXACTLY how the words should be used. I'm not going to complain in the least!!

    If you want/need more examples, I'm willing to hunt them down and post a few more. Just ask.
     
  2. Privid
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    Privid New Member

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    I fear I don't really know how to explain this better, but here is my few cents. Thou is the singular form used in ye olde English, and was considered the informal form compared to you, which was the formal form (that later became to be widely used for politeness' sake).

    You usually use thou when you nominate something, present it, such as "thou art" in place of "you are" or "thou goest" in place of "you go". From that you can also derive the general rule that after (or sometimes before, though don't take my word for that) the 'thou', the following verb is ended with either -est, or -st if the verb already ends with an -e.
    Thee meanwhile is when someone is an objective, when you direct something at someone, such as "blessings upon thee" in place of "blessings upon you". Bear in mind that thou is always singular and for plural, you should use you. Thy meanwhile, you just use it in place of 'your' for the singular version of the word.

    As for "ye", it's just a poetic form of 'you', the plural form.

    I hope that brought a little light (and I certainly hope I haven't misguided you, it's simply something I've gathered from thorough study of the words, and reading authors that use them).

    P.S. If I may dare to be a little daring (and do not take this as an insult, please!), you won't really look smarter or be a better writer if you use these words just for the sake of using them. They can often just be an annoyance and if you aim to please the general public, you won't get a lot of understanding either.
     
  3. Ganman3
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    Ganman3 Member

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    Thou- subject pronoun, you
    "For thou art more temperate."
    ^Not old English. Technically Modern English.
    Thy- possessive
    Thy head is very large.
    Thine- possessive of "thou" (as noun)
    "Whose ball is this?" "Is is thine."
    Thee- used as indirect object or direct object
    I didst see Mary throwing the ball to thee.
    I givest thee this book.
    Ye- plural or formal pronoun of "you"
    Goest ye to the shoppe?
    Objective of "ye"- you
    Genitive of "ye" (as possessive) - your
    Possessive of "ye" (as noun) - yours
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    from many decades of familiarity with shakespearean usage, that's how i'd use them...

    here's a primer that may either help unconfuse you, or confuse you further: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:WCrtZwA0StIJ:www.cummingsstudyguides.net/xThou.html+thee+vs+thou&cd=9&hl=en&ct=clnk
     
  5. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    Thanks mammamaia, that guide is helpful, I just have to read it over a few more times to make sure I understand it completely. And thanks for the quick edit, apparently I really am going to have to have someone besides me read over this and edit it. ^^;;

    And I'm really not trying to sound intelligent Privid (in fact looking at it I feel dumber each time). When I was writing Sensei I wanted to give him a unique way of talking, so I tried playing around with a lot of things, but modern speech really didn't seem to fit his character at all. Then one day it was suggested to me to use old english for him. So I tried it with my basic knowledge of it and fell in love with the way Sensei spoke. So I kind of just limped my way through the story (Sensei actually doesn't have a lot of dialogue). But now that I'm rewritting and editting it, I know I have to get the correct way of using these words. So I dont confuse myself as well as the readers.
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    'Aye' also means, 'for always'. It is used almost exclusively now (still) in the north of England and in Scotland to mean 'yes', while the 'thee/thou' was used until fairly recently by Quakers, particularly around the Midlands.

    It looks a bit odd to me seeing them together, and even odder in a fantasy-genre novel with what looks like Japanese. But I suppose it's hard to tell from only this short extract, and it wouldn't matter anyway to most people who don't know much about it. It might not go down so well in the UK, though.
     

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