Are there any languages that have words that disambiguate the various possible meanings of the English 'we'?
In English the 1st person plural pronoun 'we' (and its object counterpart 'us') can refer to groups 1) including only the speaker and the addressed person or persons, 2) including only the speaker and some further person(s) neither speaking nor being addressed but with whom the speaker claims a sort of representative power, and *not* including the addressee(s), or 3) including the speaker, the addresse(s) and some other people too.
Are there any languages that have separate words for these distinct referential uses? [more inside]
posted by bertran
on Mar 26, 2014 -
I have just finished a college course in business English. I did well, but I want to be able to look at parts of speech in a sentence and understand enough to know for sure why I am using who or whom or when to choose subjective or objective pronouns. (Example: Do you think it was THEY who left the door unlocked overnight?) My textbook spent more time telling you to substitute he or him for who or whom, but I wanted to be able to understand what part of speech was responsible for the choice. What is the best college level or above textbook to teach me this? Thank you in advance.
posted by Leah
on May 7, 2013 -
I remember reading months ago (could have been as long as 1-2 years ago) a blog post written by (I think) a man talking about the assumptions people make about gendering dogs. [more inside]
posted by citywolf
on Feb 26, 2013 -
Are grammatical genders, as a rule, consistent across the Indo-European languages which use them? [more inside]
posted by obloquy
on Dec 4, 2012 -
Are you a francophone genderqueer person? What pronouns do you use? What language changes have you made? [more inside]
posted by blnkfrnk
on Oct 7, 2012 -
When a sentence uses more than one object, how are objective pronouns used with them? Common sense would say that they are only relevant to the direct object, but what if I want to refer to the indirect object? Hardcore grammar-mining ahead! [more inside]
posted by Senza Volto
on Jan 8, 2011 -
I understand the normal rules for "I" and "Me" in sentences, but I simply cannot figure out the answer to this example.
What I want to say is that my dad and I are regional truckers (or me and my dad are regional truckers). If I stay true to the "I" vs."Me" formula I learned in school and eliminate the objective pronoun, the simplified version of the sentence can be written as either "I are regional truckers" or "me are regional truckers", and both of these look atrocious written down. I'm not a seasoned grammarian, but even I know that neither one of these seems to be the correct answer. Am I missing something?
posted by Buddy-Rey
on Jul 31, 2009 -
English grammar question: Which is grammatically correct, "If I were not myself" or "If I were not me"? Or is it "If I were not I"? [more inside]
posted by misozaki
on Apr 5, 2007 -
Suppose you are talking to someone (an acquaintance, a workmate, a person at a party) who you are pretty sure is gay. This person is talking about someone s/he is dating and is being completely gender neutral. What is the appropriate response? Do you maintain gender neutrality with your questions and comments (which can get awkward and feel silly)? Do you make a comment that includes the phrase "he or she" to indicate that you're aware that it may be either and that you're nonjudgmental (but potentially putting this person on the spot to pick a gender and out him/herself)? Do you pick the likely gender and continue the conversation blithely the way most people do in assumed-heterosexual conversations (again with the potential outing)? For the purposes of this exercise, assume no one else is in earshot.
posted by xo
on Apr 25, 2005 -