2018_11_01XL_01 - XLinguae

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Open access Issues > Issue n_1XL_2018 > section1XL_2018
Use of some pronouns: the "nous" of majesty or modesty, the "vous" of politeness, the "on", competitor of "nous" and "je"
[Emploi de quelques pronoms : le « nous » de majesté ou de modestie, le « vous » de politesse, le « on », concurrent du « nous » et du « je »]
Michele Lenoble-Pinson
DOI: 10.18355/XL.2018.11.01XL.01
In contrast to their plural form, the personal pronouns "nous" and "vous" are used to replace one person. Conversely, contrary to what its singular form reveals, the indefinite pronoun "on", used as a personal pronoun, designates several persons. It also happens that it substitutes for the pronoun of the first person "je".
In which language situations do we encounter such usage? In a text, what benefits do they provide? Which ones should we recommend? Which one is better to avoid? How are the verbs, the participles, and the adjectives grammatically linked to these pronouns?

Key words: good use, personal pronouns, us, you, we

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