I wonder if English had a formal version of 'you' in the past. Maybe like 450 years ago.

@DC7IA orignally you was the formal word, and people used "thou/thee" (equivalent of Du in German) within close friend/family groups, or (if religious) when referring to God during prayer.

its still used for some religious texts and in dialect of the North of England, if you listen to the Kaiser Chiefs (from Yorkshire) sing "I predict a Riot" you hear

>"Watching the people get lairy / is not very pretty, I tell thee"

@DC7IA you IS the formal version; thee and thou were informal.

@DC7IA wiktionary says it was "ceremonial" in use at least for a time...i'd say that qualifies as 'formal'

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