THOU is the subject (Thou art…)
THEE is the object (I look at thee)
THY is for words beginning in a consonant (Thy dog)
THINE is for words beginning in a vowel (Thine eyes)
this has been a psa
Also, because H was sometimes treated as a vowel when the grammar rules for thou/thee/thy/thine were formed,THINE can also be used for words beginning with H. For example, both “thy heart” and “thine heart” appear in Elizabethan poetry.
For consistency, however, if you’re saying “thine eyes”, make sure you also say “mine eyes” instead of “my eyes”.
Further to the PSA:
Thou/thee/thine is SINGULAR ONLY.
Verbs with “thou” end in -st or -est: thou canst, thou hast, thou dost, thou goest. Exception: the verbs will, shall, are, and were, which add only -t: thou wilt, thou shalt, thou art, thou wert.
Only in the indicative, though – when saying how things are (“Thou hast a big nose”). Not in the subjunctive, saying how things might be (“If thou go there…”) nor in the imperative, making instructions or requests (“Go thou there”).
The -eth or -th ending on verbs is EXACTLY EQUIVALENT TO THE -(e)s ENDING IN MODERN ENGLISH.
I go, thou goest, she goeth, we go, ye go, they go.
If you wouldn’t say “goes” in modern English, don’t say “goeth” in Shakespearean English.
“Goeth and getteth me a coffee”NO. KILL IT WITH FIRE.
Usually with an imperative you put the pronoun immediately after the verb, at least once in the sentence (“Go thou” / “Go ye”).
YE is the subject (Ye are…). YOU is the object.
Ye/you/your is both for PLURALS and for DEFERENCE, as vous in French.
There’s more, but that’ll do for now.
Oh wow. Reblogging for reference.
Can we all agree and bring these back please
I’m from the southwest of England and in our local dialect of English (West Country English) people still use thee but never use thou. Like my dad will regularly say “be thee?” instead of “are you?”. We also use thee as the subject. There is a song by a local folk band called Thee’s Got’n Where Thee Cassn’t Back’n Hassn’t
We use thy but often pronounce it identical to thee mainly so that it can be shortened to ‘ee because we like not pronouncing things with t or h or th.
Yes good! I love this!!
However, to add to the PSA, this is old English in that it is older than modern English, it is not Old English, the language. OE the language is probably unintelligible to you, both in written language and also in terms of grammar.
This is Old English:
An. M.LXVI. On þyssum geare man halgode þet mynster æt Westmynstre on Cyldamæsse dæg 7 se cyng Eadward forðferde on Twelfts mæsse æfen 7 hine mann bebyrgede on Twelftan mæssedæg innan þære niwa halgodre circean on Westmyntre 7 Harold eorl feng to Englalandes cynerice swa swa se cyng hit him geuðe 7 eac men hine þærto gecuron 7 wæs gebletsod to cynge on Twelftan mæssedæg 7 þa ylcan geare þe he cyng wæs he for ut mid sciphere togeanes Willelme …
thee/thou/thy/thine, spelled as such, is afaik a feature of Early Modern English aka Elizabethan / Shakespearean English.
LANGUAGE IS GREAT AND SO COOL