Lesson 3: Nouns Lesson 4: Pronouns Lesson 5: Adjectives

Hi, if you're new to learning languages, then please see a list of common linguistic terms for an explanation of things like "accusative" and "strong verbs".

Personal PronounsEdit

1st pers. sing. "I" 2nd pers. sing. "thou" 3rd pers. sing. masc. "he" 3rd pers. sing. fem. "she" 3rd pers. sing. neut. "it" 1st pers. dual "we two" 2nd pers. dual "you two" 1st pers. pl. "we" 2nd pers. pl. "ye" 3rd pers. pl. "they"
Nom. Ic Þū Hēo/hīo Hit Wit Git Hī/hīe
Acc. Mē/mec Þé/þec Hine Hīe/hī Hit Unc/uncit Inc/incit Ūs/ūsic Ēow/ēowic Hī/hīe
Dat. Þē Him Hire Him Unc Inc Ūs Ēow Him/heom
Gen. Min Þin His Hire His Uncer Incer Ure Eower Hira/hiera/heora/hiora

Notes on personal pronouns:

It should be noted that, in the later Old English period, accusative and dative pronouns began to merge into each other. The pronouns I have put forward are from the earlier Old English period, and I prefer them due to the fact that they offer more distinction betwix the accusative and dative cases.

It is very easy to see the historical link between Old English, other Germanic, and Modern English pronouns. Here is an example: first pers. sing. nom. pron.: Ic (Old English), Ich (German), Ik (Dutch), and I (Modern English).

Interrogative PronounsEdit

Neut. "what" Fem & Masc. "who"
Nom. Hwæt Hwā
Acc. Hwæt Hwone
Dat. Hwǣm/Hwām Hwǣm/Hwām
Gen. Hwæs Hwæs
Ins. Hwȳ/Hwon Hwȳ/Hwon

Notes on interrogative pronouns:

It is also easy to see the link betwix Old English and Modern English pronouns here: hwȳ into why (but the meaning has changed a little over history for those two), hwǣm into whom, whæs into whos, hwā into who, hwǣt into what.

Other PronounsEdit

Relative PronounEdit

This pronoun corresponds to Modern English who, which, and that. E.G. "the person whom I despise is a wick fellow indeed","that which I find to be distasteful is indeed undesirable", and "the thing that I ran into was a possum".

There were a few different words being used back in Old English for the relative pronoun, these being:

The word "þe" is most common, which is fully indeclinable and could, therefore, lead to a bit of confusion in the gen. and dat. cases.

There is the definitive article (e.g. "se/þæt/sēo"), which could lead to some confusion.

The definitive article and the word "þe" together, separated or not (e.g. "se/þæt/sēo þe", but this can be confusing and might appear to mean "that which" or "she/he who", and not simply "who/that/which". Thankfully, you can do them unseparated: "se/þæt/sēoþe", which would not lead to any confusion).

For a pronoun+relative pronoun (e.g. corresponding to Modern English "what, who" as in "I take what [that which] I like!") in one word, use the definitive article, e.g. "Ic nam, þæt ic wolde," ("I took what I wanted.")

Demonstrative pronounsEdit

The demonstrative pronouns correspond to Modern English "that" and "this" as both pronouns and adjectives/articles.

Masc. sing. Neut. sing. Fem. sing. Pl.
Nom. Se Þæt Sēo/Sīo Þā/Þē
Acc. Þone Þæt Þā Þā
Dat. Þǣm/Þām Þǣm/Þām Þǣre Þǣm/Þām
Gen. Þæs Þæs Þǣre Þāra
Ins. Þȳ/Þon Þȳ/Þon Þǣre Þǣm/Þām

Masc. sing. Neut. sing. Fem. sing. Pl.
Nom. Þes Þis Þēos Þās
Acc. Þisne Þis Þās Þās
Dat. Þissum Þissum Þisse/Þisre Þissum
Gen. Þisses Þisses Þisse/Þisre Þisra
Ins. Þȳs Þȳs Þisse/Þisre Þissum

Notes on the demonstrative pronouns:

The first demonstrative pronoun is also the word for "the".

They are often used instead of the third person pronouns, I.E. "Se ne was gōd mē" ("He wasn't good to me"), "Sēo is wīġin" ("She is a warrior-woman"), and "Iċ Sæld hit þām" ("I gave it to him").

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