Ye Olde Words in English

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,093 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

You may read some words in English that are not commonly spoken today.

For example, in a text about life expectancy, you may read "three score and ten". What does the word "score" mean in this context?

Or, a sign saying, "lest we forget." Or the title of this discussion containing the word, "ye".

Here are a few old words that you might see in your reading passages:

albeit
lest
score
thou / thee / thy / thine
wont
ye

Here are the definitions and some possible sentences.

Albeit means "although, in spite of, despite". "He dresses very well, albeit strangely at times."

Lest means "unless, so that (not), in case" ATTENTION, lest is always followed by the subjunctive. "The spy stepped into the shadow lest he be seen by the police" or, "She put a note on the door lest he forget about the meeting."

Score
means "twenty". "The days of our years are three score years and ten (seventy years)" or "Four score and seven years ago", (eighty-seven years).

Thou / thee / thy / thine  are old forms of the pronoun "you", used for one person and familiar, a form that is retained in many Latin-based languages. Thou is the subject pronoun, thee is the object pronoun, thy is the possessive adjective and thine is the possessive pronoun. For example, "I believe in thee" or "Thy word is a lamp."

Wont means "will, habit" and is usually found in the form, "As is my wont, her wont to do". "I read the newspaper this morning as is my wont" means "I read the newspaper this morning as I always do".

Ye is pronounced "the" and can replace the in sentences like the title. The title is read, "The old words in English". Be careful not to pronounce the "y" as in "you" or "yet"!


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