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I read the following sentence in Shakespeare's book "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword, and won thy love doing thee injuries

  1. I don't understand the usage of "doing thee injuries", can i change it to "doing you injuries"? (I change it to this, but the grammar checker suggests changing it to 'your'.)
  2. I almost never see such kind of usage "do sb sth", could someone give me some examples like this?

Thanks in advance!

2 Answers 2

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Yes, you can modernise it to "doing you injuries". Grammar checkers don't know everything.

Do yourself/someone an injury/mischief is still used as an idiom, mainly in a lighthearted way. https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/do-someone-yourself-a-mischief

Don't hold your umbrella like that - you might do someone an injury!

Speaking of a serious accident or attack, we would say cause injury to, injure.

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  • Reflexive do oneself an injury still has some cuurency (though it sounds a bit "dialectal" to me), but the non-reflexive form do him an injury as used by Shakespeare (singular/plural, with or without article) has massively declined since Victorian times. Oct 20, 2021 at 12:44
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Yes, you can change "thee" to "you" in this example, though what the grammar checker is probably suggesting is that you change 'injuries' to 'injury' which would be more natural for modern English.

A very similar example would be "doing you harm" - again notice that 'harm' isn't pluralised - or "doing you an injustice".

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  • Thanks. The grammar checker suggest I change "you" to "your".
    – fitz
    Oct 20, 2021 at 12:24
  • Then the grammar checker is wrong!
    – MikeB
    Oct 20, 2021 at 13:16

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