96 The Loom of Language derivative forms bakes, types, or conquers, are dictated by context in accordance with the conventions of our language The final ~s adds nothing necessary to the meaning of a statement* This flexion is our only surviving relic of a much more complicated system m the Enghsh of Alfred the Great, and sull extant in most European languages To understand its importance in connexion with correct usage in many other languages,, we have to distinguish a class of words called personal pronouns Since the number of them is small, this is not difficult. Excluding the possessive forms mine9 ours> etc , the personal pronouns are:—/ or me> we or us, you> he or him, she or /zŁ?, it> and they or them I or me and we or us are modestly called pronouns of the first person, you is the English pronoun of the second person, and he or him, she or hery tt, they or them are pionouns of the thud person The pronouns of the fiist person stand for, or include, the person making a statement The pronoun of the second person stands for the person or persons whom we addiess, and the pronouns of the third person stand for the persons or things about whom or about which we make a statement or ask a question To make room for all the flexions of person m foreign languages, we have to go a stage further in classifying pronouns If the statement is about one person or thing, the pronoun which stands for it is singular*, if it is about more than one person or thing, the pronoun is said to be plural. Thus / and me are pronouns of the first person singular; we and MS pronouns of first person plural. He and him9 she and hers together with ity are pronouns of the third person singular, and they or them are pronouns of the third person plural. In modern English or, as we ought to say and as we shall say in future when we want to distinguish it from Bible English, in Anglo-American, there is only one pronoun of the second person singular or plural In the Bible English of 'Mayflower days there were two, Thou and thee were the pronouns of the second person singular, and ye was for converse with more than one person* Thou is de ngueur in churches as the pronoun of address for a threefold deity Orthodox members of the Society of Friends use thee when speaking to one another. When ordinary people still used thou*> there was another flexion of person. They said thou speakest, in contra- distinction to you speak or he speaks. Classification of the personal pronouns in this way would be quite pointless if everybody used Anglo-American We can appreciate its usefulness if we compare Anglo-American and French equivalents on p. 35, The simple English rule for the surviving -s flexion is this.