Thou and Thee, You and Ye
A Primer on Shakespearean Pronouns
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By Michael J. Cummings
...© 2003

Modern English uses only four pronouns for addressing a person or persons: you, your, yourself, and yours. The English of Shakespeare’s time used ten pronouns: thou, thee, thy, thyself, thine, ye, you, your, yourself, and yours. The rules governing the use of these ten pronouns were both grammatical and cultural–that is, their application depended not only on syntax but also on the social status of the person or persons addressed. The following table shows at a glance second-person pronoun use under these rules, as well as Shakespeare's varying uses of you, your, yourself, and yours. In addition, the table includes an entry for ye as a definite article (or adjective) meaning the
 

Thou

Case: Nominative. Example: Thou art my friend.
When Used: To address a person of inferior status, such as a child or servant; to address a friend; to impart a poetic ring when expressing profound thoughts or reciting a prayer.
Verb Endings: -t, -st, -est. Examples: Thou art, thou hast, thou wast, thou hadst.

Thee

Case: Objective. Example: I love thee. I give thee all my love.
When Used: To address a person of inferior status, such as a child or servant; to address a friend; to impart a poetic ring when expressing profound thoughts or reciting a prayer.
Verb Endings: Not affected.

Thy

Case: Possessive. Example: Here is thy sword.
When Used: To address a person of inferior status, such as a child or servant; to address a friend; to impart a poetic ring when expressing profound thoughts or reciting a prayer. Thy is not used before words beginning with a vowel or before words beginning with a silent h followed by a vowel. Instead, thine is used.
Verb Endings: Not affected.

Thine

Case: Possessive. Examples: This sword is thine. Where is thine enemy?
When Used: To show possession without a following noun or with a following noun beginning with a vowel or a silent h followed by a vowel.
Verb Endings: Not Affected.

Thyself

Case: Reflexive or intensive. Examples: Wash thyself. Thou thyself art a fool.
When Used: To address a person of inferior status, such as a child or servant; to address a friend; to impart a poetic ring when expressing profound thoughts or reciting a prayer.
Verb Endings: -t, -st, -est. Examples: Thou thyself art, thou thyself hadst.

Ye (Early Use)

Case: Nominative. Example. Ye are mighty lords.
When Used: To address several persons of exalted social position(s).
Verb Endings: Not affected.

Ye (Later Use)

Case: Nominative or objective. Examples: Ye are a fool. Ye are all fools. I'll strike ye down.
When Used: To address one or several persons of any social  status.
Verb Endings: Not affected.

Ye as a Definite Article (Early Use)

Pronunciation: Same as the
Part of Speech: Definite article; adjective.
Examples: Ye olde tavern (pronounced as the old tavern); Ye gods (pronounced as the gods).
When Used: To modify a noun in the same way as the definite article the. Y was a printer's character representing th.
Shakespeare generally did not use "ye" in this sense.
Verb Endings: Not affected.

You, Your, Yourself, Yours (Early Use)

These words were used in the same way that they are used today.