Episode 51: The

The word "the" is the sole definite article in the English language. It's also the most common word in our language. However, for such a grammatically fundamental word, its history isn't as straightforward as one might think. Old English had a whopping twenty different forms of the definite article, all of which collapsed into the single, versatile word "the" by the time of Modern English. We discuss some of these older forms and their evolutions. 
 

                       Masc.       Fem.      Neut.       Plural

Nominative     Se           Seo        þæt       þā

Accusative      þone       þa         þæt        þā

Dative             þæs        þære     þæs        þāra

Genitive          þæm      þære      þǣm       þæm

Instrumental   þy, þon   þāra      þy, þon    þǣm

 

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