Express Yourself

Why There Is No Polite Way of Saying ‘You’ in English

Other languages have polite second-person pronouns. English used to have one, too.

Two people aiming flashlight at each other at night on the street.
Two people aiming flashlight at each other at night on the street.

If you studied French at school, you may recall the mild culture shock that comes with learning the second-person pronouns. Tu and vous both translate as “you,” but can’t be used…