Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

singular or plural of "you"

Expand Messages
  • dipaeightprecepter
    I have found that the subject and the verb consistently are the same in regard to being singular and plural. This helps when the subject is not the word you .
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 11, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      I have found that the subject and the verb consistently are the same
      in regard to being singular and plural. This helps when the subject is
      not the word "you". When the subject is "you" how do you determine
      whether it is singular or plural? tva.m or tumhe?

      I have figured out that the direct object goes directly before the
      verb so that question seems to be resolved. Any help on the plurality
      or singularity of "you" would be greatly appreciated.
    • gdbedell
      This is a problem of English rather than Pali. English you is the same whether it refers to one person or more than one. (In earlier English, you was
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 13, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        This is a problem of English rather than Pali. English 'you' is the same whether it refers to
        one person or more than one. (In earlier English, 'you' was plural as opposed to 'thou'; in
        modern English 'thou' is obsolete and 'you' is also singular.) Pali has different forms for
        second person pronouns (tva.m or tumhe) and usually also different verb forms which
        agree with them as subjects.

        'You' should be translated as tva.m when it refers to one person and as tumhe when it
        refers to more than one. (Except that as a subject, 'you' will often not be translated at all,
        but inferred from the agreeing verb.) So how do we know whether 'you' refers to one
        person or more than one? Only from the context. If there is no context (as may be the
        case with exercises in text books), then the English is ambiguous from the point of view of
        Pali, and either translation is correct.

        George Bedell

        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "dipaeightprecepter" <dipaeightprecepter@...> wrote:
        >
        > I have found that the subject and the verb consistently are the same
        > in regard to being singular and plural. This helps when the subject is
        > not the word "you". When the subject is "you" how do you determine
        > whether it is singular or plural? tva.m or tumhe?
        >
        > I have figured out that the direct object goes directly before the
        > verb so that question seems to be resolved. Any help on the plurality
        > or singularity of "you" would be greatly appreciated.
        >
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.