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From Middle Dutch , ghi, from Old Dutch , from West Germanic *jīz, variant of Proto-Germanic *jūz, from Proto-Indo-European *yū́. Doublet of jij.

Cognate with Old Saxon ‎(ye), Middle Low German gi ‎(ye). Compare also Low German ji, jie, English ye, German ihr.




  1. Second-person singular, subjective: thou (dialectal, poetic)
    Verveelt gij u niet?
    Artn't thou bored?
    Gij zijt.
    Thou art

Usage notes[edit]

In the Netherlands, the personal pronoun gij and its variants are now mainly used in religious context, and are considered archaic. In Flanders and the southern Netherlands, gij is still commonly used as the second-person singular in colloquial language but in formal language it is not used unless the referred second person is the "god" or the "king".

The best translation when used in archaic contexts would be thou; when used in Flanders, it would typically be you (singular). Unlike in English, gij usually doesn’t take a different verb form from jij, except when there is inversion or with some irregular verbs or in the past tense. Compare: heb jij dit gedaan? versus hebt gij dit gedaan? (have you / hast thou done this?). Also: jij zal versus gij zult (you shall/will / thou shalt/wilt), jij bent versus gij zijt (you are / thou art), jij vloog versus gij vloogt (you flew / thou flewest) etc.


Related terms[edit]