you

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See also: yōu, yóu, yǒu, and yòu

English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

  • ye (plural form, archaic or dialectal)
  • ya, yah, yer, yeh, y', yo, yu (informal or eye dialect)
  • -cha (informal, after /t/)
  • -ja (informal, after /d/)
  • u (informal, internet)
  • yoo (eye dialect)
  • yew (became obsolete as English spelling became more standardised, then was ‘recoined’ as a nonstandard variant for (chiefly humorous) use in informal situations and on the internet)
  • youe, yow, yowe (obsolete)

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English you, yow, ȝow, (object case of ye), from Old English ēow, īow ("you"; dative case of ġē), from *iwwiz ("you"; dative case of *jīz), Western form of Proto-Germanic *izwiz ("you"; dative case of *jūz), from Proto-Indo-European *yūs (you (plural)), *yū́. Cognate with West Frisian jo (you), Low German jo (you), Dutch jou & u (you), Middle High German eu, iu (you, obj. pron.), Latin vōs (you), Avestan 𐬬𐬋 (, you).

See usage notes. Ye, you and your are cognate with Dutch jij/je, jou, jouw; Low German ji, jo/ju, jug and German ihr, euch and euer respectively. Ye is also cognate with archaic Swedish I.

Pronunciation[edit]

When a word ending in /t/, /d/, /s/, or /z/ is followed by you, these may coalesce with the /j/, resulting in /tʃ/, /dʒ/, /ʃ/ and /ʒ/, respectively. This is occasionally represented in writing, e.g. gotcha (from got you).

Pronoun[edit]

you (second person, singular or plural, nominative or objective, possessive determiner your, possessive pronoun yours, singular reflexive yourself, plural reflexive yourselves)

  1. (object pronoun) The people spoken, or written to, as an object. [from 9th c.]
    • 1611, Bible, Authorized (King James) Version. Genesis XLII:
      And Joseph said unto them, That is it that I spake unto you, saying, Ye are spies [...].
  2. (reflexive, now US colloquial) (To) yourselves, (to) yourself. [from 9th c.]
    • circa 1591, William Shakespeare, Richard III:
      If I may counsaile you, some day or two / Your Highnesse shall repose you at the Tower [...].
    • 1611, Bible, Authorized (King James) Version. Genesis XIX:
      And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city.
    • 1975, Joseph Nazel, Death for Hire:
      You'd better get you a gun and kill him before he kills you or somebody.
  3. (object pronoun) The person spoken to or written to, as an object. (Replacing thee; originally as a mark of respect.) [from 13th c.]
    • circa 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book VIII:
      I charge you, as ye woll have my love, that ye warne your kynnesmen that ye woll beare that day the slyve of golde uppon your helmet.
  4. (subject pronoun) The people spoken to or written to, as a subject. (Replacing ye.) [from 14th c.]
    Both of you should get ready now.
    You are all supposed to do as I tell you.
  5. (subject pronoun) The person spoken to or written to, as a subject. (Originally as a mark of respect.) [from 15th c.]
    • circa 1395, Geoffrey Chaucer, "The Clerk's Tale", Canterbury Tales, Ellesmere manuscript (c. 1410):
      certes lord / so wel vs liketh yow / And al youre werk / and euere han doon / þat we / Ne koude nat vs self deuysen how / We myghte lyuen / in moore felicitee [...].
    • 1814, Jane Austen, Mansfield Park:
      You are right, Fanny, to protest against such an office, but you need not be afraid.
  6. (indefinite personal pronoun) Anyone, one; an unspecified individual or group of individuals (as subject or object). [from 16th c.]
    • 2001, Polly Vernon, The Guardian, 5 May 2001:
      You can't choose your family, your lovers are difficult and volatile, but, oh, you can choose your friends - so doesn't it make much more sense to live and holiday with them instead?

Usage notes[edit]

  • Originally, you was specifically plural (indicating multiple people), and specifically objective (serving as the direct or indirect object of a verb, or object of a preposition; like present-day us, as opposed to we). The corresponding subjective pronoun was ye, and their corresponding singular pronouns were thee and thou, respectively. (Thus you was to ye, thee, and thou as us is to we, me, and I, respectively.)
  • In some forms of English, you and ye have doubled as plural forms and as polite singular forms, used in addressing superiors and (in some forms) equals, with thee and thou being the non-polite singular forms. Such alternation, insofar as it still exists, is now only dialectal: in present-day English, thee and thou are all but nonexistent.
  • Although you no longer distinguishes singular from plural, various forms of English have marked plural forms, such as you guys, y'all, or youse (though not all of these are completely equivalent or considered Standard English).
  • The pronoun you is usually omitted in imperative sentences, but need not be. In affirmative imperatives, it may be included before the verb (You go right ahead; You stay out of it); in negative imperatives, it may be included either before the don't, or, more commonly, after it (Don't you dare go in there; Don't you start now).
  • See Appendix:English parts of speech for other personal pronouns.

Synonyms[edit]

  • (subject pronoun: the person spoken/written to): thou (singular, archaic), ye, yer (dialect)
  • (subject pronoun: the persons spoken/written to): all of you (plural), ye, yer (dialect), you’s (plural dialect), y’all (informal US plural), you all (plural), you + number (plural, to the specified number of people)
  • (object pronoun: the person spoken/written to): thee (singular, archaic), ye, to you, to thee, to ye
  • (object pronoun: the persons spoken/written to): ye, to you, to ye, to you all
  • (one): one, people, they, them

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also[edit]

Determiner[edit]

you

  1. The individual or group spoken or written to.
    Have you gentlemen come to see the lady who fell backwards off a bus?
  2. Used before epithets for emphasis.
    You idiot!

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb[edit]

you (third-person singular simple present yous, present participle youing, simple past and past participle youed)

  1. (transitive) To address (a person) using the pronoun you, rather than thou.

Statistics[edit]


Japanese[edit]

Romanization[edit]

you

  1. rōmaji reading of よう

See also[edit]


Mandarin[edit]

Romanization[edit]

you

  1. Nonstandard spelling of yōu.
  2. Nonstandard spelling of yóu.
  3. Nonstandard spelling of yǒu.
  4. Nonstandard spelling of yòu.

Usage notes[edit]

  • English transcriptions of Mandarin speech often fail to distinguish between the critical tonal differences employed in the Mandarin language, using words such as this one without the appropriate indication of tone.

Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old English ēow.

Pronoun[edit]

you

  1. you

Descendants[edit]


Mirandese[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

you

  1. I (the first-person singular pronoun)
    • 2008, Picä Tumilho (band), “Ai que cochino!!! (ver. II)” (song), in Faíçca: Ua stória d'amor i laboura (album): 
      I you cun muita fuorça spetei bien la faca
      And I strongly skewered (with) the knife.