27 April 2014

From the Web: Thou, Thee, Thine and Thy

Did you know that just a couple hundred years ago, English, as is common in most European languages, used to have a familiar, singular form of you and a plural / polite form of you? 

This form can still be used and heard today in church services and hymns. You'll also find it in 16th and 17th century English literature, such as in the works of Shakespeare or the 1611 King James Version of the Bible, the latter being still widely used in churches today across Great Britain and the United States today. Shakespeare's writings and the 1611 Bible are the works of literature that have had the largest influence and greatest impact on today's modern, spoken English, contributing many commonly used expressions and vocabulary used today.

The conjugation for the 2nd and 3rd persons singular was also different. 

Here, look at these charts taken from : http://alt-usage-english.org/pronoun_paradigms.html

SubjectiveObjectivePossessivePresent Tense
Verb Ending
1st Pers. Sing.Imemy/mine[1] none
2nd Pers. Sing.thoutheethy/thine[1] -est
3rd Pers. Sing.he/she/ithim/her/ithis/her/its-eth
1st Pers. Pluralweusournone
2nd Pers. Pluralye/you[2]youyournone
3rd Pers. Pluraltheythemtheirnone
[1]: "Mine" and "thine" were used before "h" and vowels, much as "an" was.
[2]: "You" had replaced "ye" for most plural uses by 1600.

to be - Present tenseto have - Present tense
I amI have
thou artthou hast
he/she/it ishe/she/it hath
we arewe have
ye areye have
they arethey have

As an example of this form, take a look at The Lord's Prayer as translated in the 1611 King James Bible.

The Lord's Prayer


Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.

To learn more, go to the above link!

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