Shouldn’t “art” be “is” in “Our Father who art in heaven”?

The Lord’s Prayer begins in English: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Shouldn’t it be who is there, not who art? You would have said thou art and he is at the time this was written. See … Read more

May you please explain this?

At a family dinner, my 18-year-old niece asked my sister, “May you please pass the salt?” My sister said that she was impressed with her daughter’s politeness, but that that particular wording was not correct. My niece said that she had been taught to say that (by whom she could not say, but probably by … Read more

Is it ok for me to switch from first person to third person here, or can I do this better in first person?

I’m currently trying to update my résumé from my tired old version to something more up to date. I’m currently having a little trouble with wording here: I’m a self-directed learner who has taught himself (and is still learning) to work with Linux systems. The switch between first and third person seems natural to me, … Read more

Is “It is you who are mistaken!” correct?

Possible Duplicate: What rules make “Remember me, who am your friend” grammatical? This is a line spoken by the Emperor to Luke in Star Wars. I always wondered if this is grammatically correct. Luke says something like “You are mistaken …” which the Emperor answers with No, it is you who are mistaken! Why wouldn’t … Read more

What rules make “Remember me, who am your friend” grammatical?

An acquaintance recalled this specific example from an English textbook, but it is jarring to my native ear. Is this an example of prescriptive grammarians gone wild? Answer It is grammatical, but it is indeed extremely jarring. It is (to me at least) just as jarring (if not more so) to say *Remember me, who … Read more

Did English ever have a “you” plural?

Apart from the dialect form used in the Southern US, “y’all,” has English ever had a plural “you”? If not, how does English get around using this form? Answer You and ye used to be the plural forms of the second person pronoun. You was the accusative form, and ye was the nominative form. Because … Read more

“Are either of you free?”

In the process of writing to two people I typed: “Are either of you free?” and was immediately called out by my grammar checker which suggested I should write: “Is either of you free?” The second of these options feels intuitively wrong to me, as I am addressing two people so should be using the … Read more