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Early discussion[edit]

Would it not be better to have it in table form ???

If you log in, you can then turn on auto-number headings in your preferences.
It would show up better. BTW, translations should be put in alphabetical order.
Petruk 18:48 May 16, 2003 (UTC)
I agree - this page is a bit of a minefield as it stands. I'm about to introduce tables (one per language) to the "me" page. -- Paul G 13:19, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I'm not sure if tables directly on the pages are a good idea. What about just putting the translations on the page and linking to a special page with the tables? Words with multiple translations each requiring a table would get out of hand. So would words which translate into many cases in some languages. Hippietrail 13:26, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I should have said the "your" and "yours" pages - I think the French and Italian entries (qqv) would be much more readable as tables. -- Paul G 13:27, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)
OK, I've tabulated the French and Italian translations on the "yours" page. I think it's much more readable in this format. -- Paul G 13:44, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)


Is there a reason they had to find the ugliest sounding American speaker to recite all these audio clips? Just wondering.

Nobody finds anybody, people who care volunteer. If you can do it better, volunteer. —Stephen (Talk) 07:29, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

This article is a hideous, foreign-centric mess! English does not have all these "senses" or "meanings" for the word "you". "You" has one sense, one meaning, several native grammatical usages which most native speakers are unaware of, and many mappings into foreign languages with more exotic systems.
It's difficult (and pointless) enough trying to create an entry for the several extra western European personal pronouns - just look what's happening as we try to extend this to the many Asian pronouns - which do not even map neatly to each other!
So let's get rid of all the so-called "senses" - or at least pare it back to the basic 4 of subject/object & singular/plural. Now we just need to keep the 1 (or 4) to many translations and dump the entire notion of a many to many mapping that is always going to be unworkable. The other language Wiktionaries that deal with more exotic pronoun systems may need something this complex (though I doubt it), but English sure does not.

End of rant — thank you for putting up (: — Hippietrail 15:39, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

Not sure I'd put it quite that strongly, but I agree that most of this material should be pushed out (perhaps to Wikipedia) and linked to. -dmh 16:16, 17 May 2004 (UTC)
It just looks to me like the =Translations= section got rather a bit overgrown. (The definition itself is under =Personal pronoun=, and doesn't have all that cruft.) If =Translations= gets condensed into a more traditional form, using only headwords in the translations list, and moving all inflected forms to the relevant word's page, and marking the forms inline for register, e.g.:
  • French: tu sg. familiar, vous sg. polite, plural
—instead of the monstrosity that is up there, including the whole word's inflection, usage notes, and whatnot, which really belong on the relevant words' pages, then You will look a lot better. —Muke Tever 16:49, 17 May 2004 (UTC)
A more sober look now and I see two basic problems.
  1. The singular/plural/nominative/accusative headings were not subheadings under "personal pronoun" or under "translations" so the table of contents was messed up by that.
  2. The casual/formal/familiar distinctions don't exist in English and thus have no place as headings.
I'll fix the heading level problem and the rest can simmer a bit... — Hippietrail 17:00, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

I merged all the subheadings under =Translations=. A lot of words had been put in multiple categories that didn't apply (not all languages had separate accusative or plural forms of words, but they multiplied across all the subheadings anyway), but I also cut a lot of information that just doesn't belong on this page, mainly the accusative forms of words. I think these should belong on the pages for the word in their own language, along with the rest of the pronouns' declensions (because I know several of these have more forms than just sg and pl, nom and acc). I put this information in comments, because I didn't want to remove it right away, but realize it may be useful to people so I'm putting it here too.

  • The Japanese plurals are all regularly derived (except maybe "kisama-ra"): 貴方達 (あなたたち, anata-tachi, generic, plural), お前達 (おまえたち, omae-tachi, slightly rude, plural), 貴様等 (きさま, kisama-ra, horribly insulting, used to be highly formal, plural) 君達 (きみたち, kimi-tachi, family and romantic, plural)
  • Persian accusatives: تُرا (torā), شُما را (ʃomā rā)
  • Romanian accusative of tu: te
  • Russian accusatives: тебя (tebja), Вас (Vas), вас (vas)
  • Slovenian accusatives: te/tebe
  • Swedish accusatives: dig, colloquially dej; er
  • Turkish accusatives: seni, sana, siz
  • Several romance-language "accusative" clitic forms that are actually third person, but used for second person as the polite second person forms are from nouns (and thus are technically, and grammatically, third person)
  • Hindi accusative given as tum with no native-script rendering

If anyone disagrees with their removal from the page, they can put them back. The revision before I started work was [1]. —Muke Tever 22:19, 17 May 2004 (UTC)

Japanese mess[edit]

In my opinion, the Japanese section is already too long, and I could easily make it longer without breaking a sweat. I suggest radically trimming it down to something like:

  • Japanese
    None of these are suitable for use in formal speech. Names or titles are usually used instead.

-- 08:20, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The problem is that they come up and are equivalent to "you." Is there a way to make a separate box just for the Japanese pronouns? Wakablogger 16:59, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Expanding the mess[edit]

Methinks that we can expand the mess by including the plural forms. Personal pronouns are probably one of few parts of speech which show plural forms. So we could add あなたたち, 君たち=君達, お前達=おまえたち ..., which mean basically ye, while the current ones mean thou (with different levels of civility). The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 17:26, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

A Proposition[edit]

I propose that in translations, we should divide singular and plural you.

--Filip 10:25, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

The definitions for singular and plural should be separated too, since they don't have the same meaning. Kipmaster 10:29, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

ye as archaic plural of you[edit]

There should be a note somewhere on this page that the plural of "you" used to be "ye". And that the absence of a plural "ye" has led to slang replacements such as "you guys" or "youse". - 19:51, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

This information is already to be found under Alternative spellings, Usage notes, and Synonyms. —Stephen 08:49, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
The article says that "with time ye came to represent any plural form." But isn't it really the other way around? I thought that "ye" is no longer used because "you" now represents any plural form (as well as representing the singular). —Aboctok 01:10, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
No, that's why thou and thee are no longer used. Ye is no longer used because you now represents the subjective/nominative form (as well as representing the objective/oblique). I'll fix that sentence. —RuakhTALK 01:20, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

"Imperative" you[edit]

Do any of the senses cover the "imperative" you, as in "You go right ahead"? I couldn't spot it in the examples. Equinox 13:08, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Is this relevant to the word "you"? Surely the imperative nature applies to the fact that it is a command (or something close to it). A command is, I think, only ever applied to the second person, singular or plural. That is, the "you" is coincidentally the object of the imperative, but not an intrinsic part of it. Pingku 17:58, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
I think it's relevant because there are two possible forms: with the you ("You go right ahead") and without ("Go right ahead"). There are phrases which would sound bizarre without the pronoun ("Don't you dare!") and others which would sound bizarre with it ("Go home!"). Equinox 18:06, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

English usage 6 (object pronoun) - need to explain use of "you" to mean "me" (the user)[edit]

6. (object pronoun) Anyone, one; an unspecified individual.
They don’t smile at you when they serve you in this store.

I think it's important for us to record & report the fact that "you" is often used to actually mean "me" (or "the user"). I guess I could just stick "me" in under usage/example 6 (above) but it probably requires some kind of further explanation/clarification, as it would, of course, look really strange (although it is the actual usage). Also, because this usage represents a linguistic act of (psychological) projection, perhaps somehow we could include a link to that?--Tyranny Sue 02:55, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Hmm. I think it means one or people in general, not me. If I said "They don't smile at you in this store", I would mean that I didn't expect them to smile at anybody — if I felt that I was being singled out, or if I had no idea about their likely behaviour to others, I would say "me". Do you have any clearer example? Equinox 20:27, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
I expect that the "you" is the plural form, regardless of the fact you may be speaking to a single person. The example given is expressing a theory (of mind) of how certain people behave; the fact that it may derive from personal experience is not relevant. Pingku 15:20, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Agree: the meaning of the sentence, and the tone in which it is spoken change considerably if "me" replaces "you". Dbfirs 16:04, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

RFV discussion: January–February 2019[edit]

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Rfv-sense "To address (a person) using the pronoun you, rather than thou, especially historically when you was more formal." I'd be especially interested in recent uses.

Here's one old quote found by Lingo Bingo Dingo: "... not to be misled by a pestilent way that he has of youing me, ...". Per utramque cavernam 10:22, 18 January 2019 (UTC)

Well, this youing the man was worse to poor Bill nor callin' him Mister. Per utramque cavernam 10:29, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
But in spite of the fact he 'youed' instead of 'thoued' me, he was not happy to see me.
That's not much. It would be good to find more. Per utramque cavernam 10:38, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
More occurrences of youing and thouing, used as gerunds / verbal nouns. Per utramque cavernam 11:06, 18 January 2019 (UTC)

This makes me notice there's apparently a verb "to thank you". See thank youing. Per utramque cavernam 10:49, 18 January 2019 (UTC)

I've added three citations, but they're not brilliant. 1930 (Barrington Hall) and 2004 (Ellen Miller) intend: to address someone using "you". 1992 (Barbara Anderson) is to address someone using "you" rather than "one". None of them are doing so "rather than thou". (Note that the italics in 2004 (Ellen Miller) are conveying stressed intonation rather than the inclusion of a nonstandard term.) -Stelio (talk) 12:44, 18 January 2019 (UTC)

RFV-passed Kiwima (talk) 23:44, 19 February 2019 (UTC)