Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Is this 1st person, 2nd person, or 3rd person?

Asked by Dutchess_III (36001points) 3 weeks ago

My daughter, who has really good grammar, called me and asked if this comment her 4 year old made referring to herself and her twin brother was 1st, 2nd, or 3rd person.
Savannah said, “Mommy picked up the twins.”

Now she’s going crazy and so am I!

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23 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

She is referring to herself (themselves) in the 3rd person. Adorable from a toddler, pretentious from an adult.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But she’s also referring to Kale. So it’s 2nd person and 3rd person all at the same time.

Lecture was unnecessary.

canidmajor's avatar

What lecture?

Response moderated
Dutchess_III's avatar

Just thought folks might have fun with it. A better question would have been riddle. “When can you refer to two people in the second and third person at the same time?” Or something like that.

Mariah's avatar

I think it’s only 3rd person.

Saying something like “We went to the store” is considered first-person even though the speaker is referring to not just himself but also another person.

Likewise, saying “They went to the store” would be third-person regardless of who all is included in the “they” group.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes but she was also referring to her brother so that’s a different person @nomorey.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

“Mommy picked up the twins” is third person.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Pinguidchance i mean.

Yes but one of the twins was herself @Pied_Pfeffer. .... so she referred to herself in the 3rd person but to her bro in the second right?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Her twin was referred to in the 3rd tense, as it should be. Second tense would be including the person she is talking to.

On saying that, who was she talking to?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well actually…she was talking to her Mom! Oh Lawd!

Pinguidchance's avatar

Grammatical person, in linguistics, is the grammatical distinction between deictic references to participant(s) in an event; typically the distinction is between the speaker (first person), the addressee (second person), and others (third person). Put in simple colloquial English, first person is that which includes the speaker, namely, “I,” “we,” “me,” and “us,” second person is the person or people to whom are spoken, literally, “you,” and third person includes all that is not listed above.[1] Grammatical person typically defines a language’s set of personal pronouns. It also frequently affects verbs, and sometimes nouns or possessive relationships.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well that helps.

janbb's avatar

It’s third person. If you said, “Dutch stood on her feet for 4 hours” it would be third person. No ambiguity at all.

Zaku's avatar

It’s 3rd person because the person of a sentence is the person of subject of the verb, which is Mommy (she – 3rd person). Who or what the objects of the verb are do not affect the person of the sentence.

Now, if the sentence were something like “Savannah’s twin and I (Savannah) picked up the marbles.” then it’s second-person plural (we). And it’s the form not the content that matter, so if she said “The twins (including me) picked up the marbles.” then it’s third person because “The twins” is a third-person form (they) even if the “they” ironically includes the speaker.

Soubresaut's avatar

I think this might be an example of speaking in second and third at the same time?—

A. “Mommy picked up you and your sister,” where she’s speaking to her brother in the second person, and referring to herself in the third.

Or perhaps B. “You picked up the twins,” where she’s speaking to her mother in the second person, and referring to herself in the third (grouped with her brother).

I don’t know if that counts, though. Like, is the 1st/2nd/3rd person-ness of a sentence determined only by the subject? If so, then A is simply in third (Mommy) and B is simply in second (You).

Zaku's avatar

@Soubresaut Nope. When talking about what person something is in, it’s important to say what is in that person. Do you mean the narrative voice, the subject of the verb, or other nouns?

These examples are only unclear if you forget that you need to talk about specifically what you mean. The narrative voice, subject and objects can all be different. If it’s the voice or the verb, you might say the speaker is speaking in that person. If it’s the person of an object one is speaking about, then one would say something like “Savannah is speaking of herself in third person.”

Soubresaut's avatar

Okay, cool. Thanks for clarifying! So in my examples, Savannah is speaking to someone else in second person, and speaking of herself in third?

Zaku's avatar

@Soubresaut In example B yes, but not in A. (Savannah is one of the twins, so in A, Savannah is using “your sister” to mean herself, yes? If so, then:)

A. “Mommy picked up you and your sister” – This sentence (i.e. the verb and its subject) is in third-person regardless of who’s speaking or who Savannah is, simply because “Mommy” is the verb’s subject and is a third-person form. Who she’s speaking to doesn’t have any effect on the person the sentence (i.e. the subject & verb) is said to be written in. If Savannah is who is referred to as “your sister” then yes that’s Savannah speaking of herself in third-person, and of her sister in second person.

B. “You picked up the twins,” The sentence (subject/verb) is in second person, the object is in third person even if the speaker is one of the twins.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I knew this could get interesting.

canidmajor's avatar

But “lecture was unnecessary”, right?

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