When you were a child was there a time when you called out to your mother from across the street; was it to say “please” or “thank you”. Back then it was a simple request and did not carry much meaning; today calling someone by their first name can be like visiting a foreign country and asking them a question and expecting a specific answer. We have all heard the famous lines “You’re a beautiful girl”, “You’re a fine piece of paper” and “I love you”. But what are the most popular forms of address for our modern society?
In American English the word you is augmented by other forms to suggest the difference between single and plural, sometimes explicitly to indicate the distinction between single and person. You-all is a common monosyllable form in both the South Midland and Southern United States and is often used both in and out of the South Midland. An alternative form you-all is used when the person being addressed is a close friend or relative, and is usually followed by a possessive pronoun. In this case you is the subject in a statement, and you is the object in a command. You-the-one is rarely used except in a friend/relative speaking to a first person only.
Do you see yourself as you? I don’t see myself as a “you”, but a “we” or “our”. I see myself as a person, a distinct individual. You are always recognized as a unique individual with your own thoughts, feelings, opinions and values, not just a generic or aggregated “you”. The use of you as a possessive pronoun in these sentences shows the tendency to regard ourselves as a composed, separate unit, when actually the opposite is true.
What about you-all? Many English speakers tend to translate “you” as “we” and “our” as “oneself”. If we look at these pronouns in their singular and plurals, you-all just turns up as “you all” in the singular and “ours” in the plural. This grammatical error occurs because the word you-all has a gender that does not match the word you. As a matter of fact, the correct word for you-all would be “oneself” in both the singular and the plural.
When you’ve been exposed to this incorrect grammar usage while writing a personal statement, you might also encounter the incorrect use of pronouns. A few people have been led to believe that the correct word for “I” is always followed by a possessive adjective. In actuality, however, the correct word for “I” is always preceded either by the word “itself” or by an object pronoun such as “it”, “its”, “one” or “itself”. For example, the following examples are grammatically incorrect: “You are the best in that field.” “You are the best in my field.”
The bottom line? Pronouns play a significant role in the structure of the written language, and they are even more important in spoken language than in any other forms of media. Thus, when you take an online quiz, you should make sure you understand homophones and correct word usage. This way, you’ll sound like an expert!