You will find the personal pronouns easy to learn because of their resemblance in both form and usage to those of Modern English.
|Nominative||iċ (I)||wē (we)|
|Accusative||mē, mec (me)||ūs (us)|
|Genitive||mīn (my)||ūre (our)|
|Dative||mē (me)||ūs (us)|
The first-person pronouns (table 1) are quite similar of those of Modern English, especially in prose, where you will generally use accusative singular mē rather than mec.
The second-person pronouns, on the other hand, have changed radically since the Old English period (table 2). Modern English does not distinguish number of any case but the possessive; in fact there are now only two forms of pronoun, you and your. By contrast, the second-person pronouns of Old English look a lot like the first-person pronouns, distinguishing number and at least three of the cases.
|Nominative||þū (you)||ġē (you)|
|Accusative||þē, þec (you)||ēow (you)|
|Genitive||þīn (your)||ēower (your)|
|Dative||þē (you)||ēow (you)|
Old English does not use the second-person singular as a "familiar" form, the way Middle English, French and German do: þū is simply singular. Like mec, accusative singular þec is mainly poetic.
The third-person pronouns, unlike the first- and second-person pronouns, are inflected for gender, but only in the singular (table 3).
|Nominative||hē (he, it)||hit (it)||hēo (she, it)||hīe (they)|
Notice that several of the forms in table 3 can represent two cases or genders. As you study the pronouns, nouns and adjectives, you will find that forms repeat themselves in the same patterns:
If you learn these patterns you will save yourself some of the labor of memorizing paradigns.
The third-person plural pronouns may cause some difficulty at first, because they don’t start with th- the way their Modern English counterparts do. Also confusing is that dative plural him is exactly the same as the masculine/neuter dative singular pronoun. You will need to take extra care in memorizing these plural pronouns.
21 февраля 2013 (09:07:12)