Plural Verbs and the Pronoun You

The Free Cozy Grammar Newsletter with Marie Rackham and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma

This month we wanted to share two video excerpts from Marie's Basic Cozy Grammar Course about plural verbs, as well as a companion video from Marie's Study Notes about why we use the plural verb "are" with the pronoun "you," even if there's only one of you. Both videos are set on the beach in front of Marie's Cozy Beach Cottage and help give a sense not only of Marie's way of clarifying the basics of grammar, but also of how Marie and Thomas then take those points into other realms of life.

In addition, we wanted to share a special announcement about new unlimited access to the Basic Cozy Grammar Course and the Basic Cozy Punctuation Course. Read on to learn more!

In Lesson 9, Marie introduces the agreement of verbs, which simply means how verbs "agree" or combine differently depending whether we have one subject or more than one subject:

As you can see, Marie takes what starts as a basic lesson about "is" and "are" and infuses it with the secret ingredient of all great teaching: love. In Marie's case, this means not only love for her students, but also love for words and for language, and for the natural world around us.

Marie also loved curiosity, which is why in my supplementary video, I answer a question that curious students may find themselves asking: WHY do we use the plural verb "are" with the pronoun "you"? What if we're only talking to one person? Doesn't that contradict the agreement of verbs?

As it happens, there's a very interesting answer to this question:

The Bible and Shakespeare

Marie believed that students should be exposed to great writing of all kinds, so her courses, in addition to giving a solid grounding in the fundamentals, also prepare the way for more advanced and creative explorations of language and literature.

For instance, knowing the history of the prounoun "thou" can deepen our understanding of the King James Bible. It can allow us to see, to take just one example, that the "thy" in the Lord's Prayer (the possessive form of "thou") is in fact a more intimate and friendly form of address than "you" or "your."

Similarly, knowing the history of "thou" can also deepen our understanding of Shakespeare. When Juliet says her famous line, we can hear her as feeling a sense of equality with Romeo, rather than a sense of humility or subservience. (Her nurse, for instance, always addresses Juliet as "you.")

The King James Bible, Matthew 6:9-10: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed by they name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2. Juliet: O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore are thou Romeo?

In this way, a little lesson about grammar and the history of English becomes a doorway to much, much more.

All In The Timing

Which brings us to our special announcement, precisely about the word "more."

Since the renovation of our website last year, we've come to realize that people often form a relationship with Marie's courses that spans many years.

Back when it was the norm to offer Cozy Grammar on VHS and then on DVD, students and families got to have them for as long as the video tape or disc lasted.

In our response to the changing digital marketplace, we were happy to remaster the courses as streaming online videos and to expand Marie's Study Notes and Exercises in a way that wasn't possible before. We also thought that by offering 1-year and 5-year subscriptions, we could offer access at much lower prices than it was offered previously.

But now we realize that 5 years may not actually be enough. We continue to hear from people who have been using Marie's courses for a decade or more. So we've decided to change our 5-year option to a special unlimited option at the same price, which grants an individual or family unlimited access to whichever courses they have chosen.

At the same time, we've also kept the 1-year option, so that those who know in advance they only need to use the courses for one year can do so at a lower price.

A Special Note to Our Existing Customers

Please note that if you've already purchased a 5-year package, we will update your subscription to the unlimited option automatically.

And if you purchased our courses through MindBites, we will update your subscription to the unlimited option as well.

Thanks so much for joining us. We'll see you again next month!

Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma



Marie's Language Consultant
The Cozy Grammar Series of Courses