The Word You – A Guide to Interviewing People

The word you is a common second person pronoun in English. It has a wide range of uses and meanings, including being the subject of an action, referring to a group of people, and being the object of a command. It can also be used to show empathy, to be friendly, or to make a suggestion.

When a writer is writing an article or report, they often need to include information from others. Interviewing them can be a great way to get this firsthand information and give credibility to their piece. However, interviewing can be difficult if you don’t know how to ask the right questions. This guide will help you learn how to ask the right questions and get valuable information from your interviewees.

It may be easy to confuse words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings. These pairs of words are called homophones and they can be confusing, even for native speakers. The two most common homophones are your and you’re. Your is a possessive adjective that should only be followed by a noun and shows ownership. It can be easily confused with you’re, which is a contraction of you are and should always be preceded by a verb.

The singular pronoun you was marked in Early Modern English by its function as subject of a verb, and by contrast with the plural form thee that signaled a respectful and deferential relationship to strangers or superiors. It continued in polite if informal use well into the 18th century, when it began to lose respectability. It is still used in some dialects, particularly for formal or religious purposes. Special plural forms, such as you-uns, yez, and youse, were also contrived to hold you to its singular function, but none of these became standard.

In some dialects, the letter u is sometimes used in place of you when it implies that the speaker is addressing a small number of individuals of either gender. It is also common in casual text messaging and social media posts, where it carries an informal tone. However, in more formal or technical writing, it is generally considered impolite and ungrammatical to substitute u for you.

The word you is a popular and versatile one, but there are some contexts where it is not appropriate to use. It is generally avoided when referring to children, animals, and inanimate objects because these are already referred to as “it”. It is also not appropriate to use it when discussing religion or politics. You may be better suited for these topics in articles and books written for a general audience, but not in specific scientific or political journals. If you’re not sure whether you should use it, consult a grammar book or dictionary for advice. In these cases, it’s best to avoid using you altogether and choose a more neutral word instead. Alternatively, you can use a noun or pronoun to refer to the object of your discussion.