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Archaic English

I was being confused about thee and thou the other day, even despite an explanation, because the explanation was using official terms that were confusing me. But it's really quite simple now I've got it figured out:

"Thou" is roughly equivalent to "I." Anywhere you would say "I" in a first-person sentence is where you would say "thou" in a second-person sentence. And anywhere you would say "me" in first-person, you would say "thee" in second-person.


A. "I really love chocolate."
B. "Thou dost really love chocolate."

A. "Give me chocolate and nobody gets hurt!"
B. "I shall give thee chocolate so nobody dost get hurt."

A. "Who stole the chocolate cake, you ask? Twas I."
B. "I know who stole the chocolate cake. Twas thou!"

A. "I want to know who ate my chocolate cheesecake. It was MINE!"
B. "Thou wantest to know who ate thy chocolate cheesecake. Understandable. For twas, after all, thine."

A. "Tell me who stole my cheesecake so I can beat them up."
B. "As soon as I know the culprit, I shall tell thee who stole thy cheesecake."

A. "I am now going to prison for murder. Write me!"
B. "Thou art surprised at being imprisoned? Well, I shall write thee anyway."

More useful stuff:

Simple present:

I get
Thou gettest
S/he getteth
You/ye get
They get

I do
Thou dost
S/he (general) doth
They do

"Do that and no one doth get hurt."

This was cross-posted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org/1180462.html
You can comment either here or there.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 3rd, 2013 05:46 am (UTC)
Yes, thou/thee are like I/me. I/Thou is subject (ie whatever is "doing" things in the sentence). Me/Thee is object (ie whatever is being "done to" in the sentence).

Thou/thee is second person "familiar" if I recall correctly. You is second person not so familiar.
I think I have that right.

So you'd use thou for friends and family, and you for strangers.
Oct. 8th, 2013 12:30 pm (UTC)
Well, I shall write thee anyway.

My gut dislikes this as overly modern. I think it should be Well, I shall write to thee anyway.

Do that and no one doth get hurt.

Ditto about my gut. I wouldst, perchance, scribe, Do thou that and none will be hurt. Other people's opinions may vary.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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