Learn English Online – The Correct Usage of You


While ye and you have a similar meaning, you and thou are not synonymous. The former is more deferential while the latter is more respectful. In the 16th century, ye and you started to replace thee and thou. English speakers noticed the loss of thee and thou, but you for singular continued to be used in informal situations well into the 18th century. It lost respectability and popularity as a subject pronoun, and special plural forms were developed to keep you in its proper singular usage. None of these forms became standard, however.

You is a second-person pronoun, but informally refers to a singular person. It is still grammatically plural and is used as a second-person singular or plural. It triggers the agreement for a plural verb. You can also refer to multiple people. As a result, you should never use you in a sentence where there are many people. However, if the other party is more than one person, you should use ‘we’ or ‘our’ instead.

When learning English online, homophones should be avoided. This can make pronunciation challenging, especially for beginners. Among the most common examples are your and you’re. Both words have different meanings and are often spelled differently. Make sure you know the difference between the two to avoid confusion. You’re a contraction of two words, and your’re a possessive adjective. When using your pronunciation, spell check won’t catch homophone errors.

The plural form of you is also a common variant of the singular. You guys is a variant of you that is used in the United States, mainly in urban areas and is used in informal speech. The latter is more popular in urban settings. These forms are not considered standard. But if you’re unsure, you can always check with a native speaker before using either form. You can also check the pronunciation by searching for “you guys.”