Where is our plural of ‘you’?

melissamebus

In a recent conversation with a German friend, she set me thinking when she asked: ‘And what are yous doing for Christmas?’.

Of course! What initially sounded like a grammatical slur ended up being an excellent illustration of why English may not be the perfect language.

When a Dutch person wants to address a group of people, they’ll say jullie; the French vous; Germans ihr. But what option did my friend have other than to add an s to you to convey her meaning?

Verbal shortcuts

People love making things as easy and fast for themselves as possible. We like to know the fastest way to walk to work. We buy ready-made sushi rather than spend the time making it ourselves. In terms of our thought processes, we often use mental shortcuts to ease the burden of decision-making.

It appears we’re no different when it comes to speaking. So…

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