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I know thou is probably obsolete, but I fancy learning something new.

So, when I type

I lied to all of thou.

Grammarly keyboard suggests that I should add an article the before thou. By the way, I'm just writing a random sentence for learning purposes. I thought it would be similar to "I lied to all of you".

So why the?

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    thou is singular, you is not. I lied to all of you. = multiple people.
    – Lambie
    Sep 7 at 17:11
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    Yeah grammarly's probably not designed for old-english. 'Thou' used to be like singular 'you', but old-english conjugation looks different too.
    – AnonFNV
    Sep 7 at 17:18
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    @IMSoP I lied to all of you is plural. It is not some romantic thing like: I love all of you or all of thee. thee and thou are second person singular pronouns. So, all of thee would have to refer to "whole person": body, spirit, soul. Or head, feet, etc.
    – Lambie
    Sep 7 at 17:20
  • @IMSoP Then, it means what I said. I love all of thee.=the whole kit and caboodle.
    – Lambie
    Sep 7 at 17:22
  • Grammarly is barely up to modern English let alone archaic forms.
    – gotube
    Sep 15 at 6:57
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Thou is a subject form. You would need to say all of thee, because it's the object of a preposition. It's not correct to put an article in front of that pronoun.
As Lambie points out in the comment, thee is singular, and doesn't make sense with all of, unless you are addressing one person, and saying that you like them from head to toe.

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    All of thee meaning the whole kit and kaboodle? For the meaning: all of you, it is still incorrect because thee is singular. thee and thou are second personal singular pronouns.
    – Lambie
    Sep 7 at 17:17
  • I agree. Both pronouns are singular, and "all of" doesn't make sense with a singular pronoun. Sep 7 at 17:20
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To bring together several threads here:

Firstly, this is probably a bug in Grammarly, because a definite article ("the") would never be used before a pronoun. It probably doesn't have "thou" in its dictionary (since it is never used in modern English), so may be guessing wrongly that it's a noun.

However, the sentence is grammatically incorrect, because "thou" is (or was) both singular and subjective (also called "nominative"; like "I" and "he", as opposed to the objective/accusative "me" and "him").

If "all of X" is intended to refer to multiple people, you would need to use a plural pronoun, so it would need to be "all of you" instead. ("You" is used for both subject and object, so that distinction is not important in this case.)

Alternatively, if "all of X" is intended to refer to "the totality of X", it would need to be an objective pronoun, so it would be "all of thee". (The resulting sentence is odd, but not impossible; perhaps: "I didn't just lie to thy [your] face, I lied to all of thee".)

If we take away the "all of" to remove this complication, we can write some sample sentences with both "thou" and "thee":

  • I lied to thee
  • Thou lied to me

However, these possibly still aren't sentences that would have been spoken at a time and place that used "thou" and "thee" regularly, as the verb would also have taken different forms based on the pronoun.

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    And all this is assuming that you want to bring back the pronoun 'thou' but keep all the grammar rules from modern English (including the 2nd person singular verb conjugations). Which is different to picking a point in time that used 'thou', such as Early Modern English, and learning all the grammar of the time. It's also different to learning a regional dialect that still uses variants of 'thee' today, because they tend to have altered it's pronunciation and usage.
    – AnonFNV
    Sep 7 at 18:17
  • @AnonFNV Good point, I've added a note.
    – IMSoP
    Sep 8 at 9:05
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Thou in current English usage is a noun, it is a unit of length meaning thousandth of an inch. You usually encounter thous in electronics PCB layout and other manufacturing contexts. It's more common in British influenced regions, whereas US tends to use mils.

So this is one possible reason why Grammarly would think it's a noun instead of pronoun. As others have pointed out, thou as a pronoun isn't correct here either, so Grammarly has to pick what error it needs to correct here and it decided that a noun without an article is more likely than a wrongly used obsolete pronoun. Even if the meaning of the noun doesn't actually make sense in this context.

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  • That certainly explains what happened. I'm surprised you say it sees most use outside the US, though, as I had the impression the US was one of the last places anything related to inches is still in regular use.
    – IMSoP
    Sep 14 at 21:56
  • @IMSoP By and large the rest of the world has moved away from imperial units, but they still linger in specialist niches. Due to historical reasons most standard pin header pitches on PCBs are specified in decimal inches, most common being 0.1 inches or 100 thou/mil. Likewise manufacturing that has to deal with US often has to work in inches even when their country otherwise doesn't (most prevalent in Canada's manufacturing sector). Aviation also uses feet, nautical miles and knots almost everywhere.
    – tylisirn
    Sep 15 at 0:47
  • And I should add that thou and mil are the same unit, just different names. Which is exceedingly annoying for countries that normally use millimeters otherwise because of the potential confusion this can create.
    – tylisirn
    Sep 15 at 0:53
  • Ah, I see, that makes more sense, thanks!
    – IMSoP
    Sep 15 at 6:22

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