“You” is a word that can mean a lot of different things depending on the context. It can be a subject of a sentence or a preposition, and it can also refer to someone in a conversation. Using “you” correctly is not always easy. For example, when used in a plural sense, you might be confusing the person you are talking with. This is one reason you need to consider the context of your usage before you decide to choose the best form of the word for your needs.
Historically, you was used for the singular and dative case only, while thou and thee were often used to indicate an intimate relationship or to show deliberate disrespect. Neither of these forms became standard, however. Eventually, the two forms began to overlap.
You’re is a contraction of two words, and it’s one of the earliest forms of the word. It has a long history of use, though its popularity is diminishing. The contraction is not widely used in formal writing, but it can be recognized by the apostrophe, a missing letter. A more informal version of you, you-uns, has recently been introduced in some regions.
In some languages, you is the plural form of the verb “to be”, and it has a lot of uses. It can be the subject of a sentence, the object of a preposition, or the subject of a verb. However, it can also be a word used as a noun.
Other common forms include yow and wes. Ye is a contraction of iow, and it is a nominative and oblique form of you. Woow is a contraction of iow and jo, and it is a nominative form of you. While yow is not as widespread as ye, it is a useful and interesting word, and you should know it.
Interestingly, yow and wes are cognate. One example is iow, a word that is not only a synonym for jiz, but also a synonym for iwwiz.
The oblique form of you also has a very old history, having originated in Ireland as a form of the singular you. During the 18th century, you for the singular dipped into the well of respectability, although it continued in informal usage well into the 19th century.
You’re, on the other hand, is a contraction of yow and are. Y’all is a variant of the former, and is found in the southern United States. It’s also used in African American Vernacular English, and in the South Midland. Another noun that you should know is yours, which is a possessive form of the noun you.
The t-V distinction made the plural forms more deferential. This is not as important as the T-M, however. As such, it might be the best of all the you-mimes. Depending on the context and the situation, the phrase might not even be able to do the job, or it might be a better choice than it actually is.