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quote:
Would you please tell me when to use the third person to address people who are being talked to directly?


Hello Izzy,

You might also use the third person to address someone in a humorous way, e.g. (in the context of a sales meeting):

1. What does our Top Salesman have to say about that?

2. What does Mr Pedantic think?

The first example exaggerates an attribute, by turning it into a title; the second employs mock-formality, by using a surname + 3rd person where a forename + 2nd person would be usual.

The third person address is also commonly used in some occupations, e.g. waiting at table, or serving in a clothes shop:

3. Would madam care to try the crêpes chinoises?

4. Would madam prefer the crêpe de Chine?

(Though it may sound old-fashioned.)

Then too, some people address children with forename + 3rd person (cf. #2):

5. Would Johnny like to say hello to Daddy?

Best wishes,

MrP
Thank you, Jerry and Mr. P for the good examples.

Here's another example, but most people would never have occasion to use it:

When speaking to royalty, I think the third person is used. For example, people would not address Queen Elizabeth as Elizabeth or Mrs. Mountbatten or as 'you.' They would say, 'Does your royal highness wish tea?' or 'What is the queen's opinion on this?'
Yes, Izzy. 'People' is the object of the first sentence, but the subject of the second one. Therefore, WHO, not WHOM, must be used.

Would you please tell me when to use the third person to address people? Those people are being talked to directly.

--> Would you please tell me when to use the third person to address people WHO are being talked to directly?

Do you agree, Izzy? Smile
Last edited by tonyck
quote:
Would you please tell me when to use the third person to address people WHO are being talked to directly?

Actually, this sentence is correct.

Here's the adjective clause: who are being talked to.

What is the subject of 'are being'? 'Are being' needs a subject. That subject is 'who.'

Maybe it's because it's the passive voice that there is some confusion. Let's make the subject an active verb. Let's say the people are talking.

So the sentence would be this:

  • Would you please tell me when to use the third person to address people WHO are talking?

    Instead of doing the talking, the people are being talked to.

    Therefore, the sentence is this:

  • Would you please tell me when to use the third person to address people who are being talked to?
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