Middle English Dictionary Entry

thei pron.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: Cp. he pron.(3).
As anaph. or pers. pron.: (a) the persons referred to, they; (b) used pleonastically or for emphasis; (c) with antecedent in apposition following; (d) as obj. of verb or prep.: them, those; (e) with sg. antecedent; (f) used indefinitely: people, persons.
As pers. or dem. pron.: they, those: (a) used determinatively with rel. clause following: ~ (..) that, ~ the, they who, those who;—sometimes used with pleonastic pron.; also, as obj. of verb or prep.: those who, them that; (b) used determinatively with prep. phrase following: they, those; (c) in correl. constructions: ~..these, those, the former..these, the latter; with adverbs following: ~ withinne..~ withoute, ~ withoute..~ withinne, those inside (outside)..those outside (inside); (d) of us ~, ?all of us, we.
As anaph. or pers. pron.: they: (a) referring to animals or birds;—sometimes used pleonastically; (b) referring to inanimate objects, bodily parts, trees, medicines, etc.;—sometimes used pleonastically and occas. with sg. antecedent; also used determinatively [quot. a1387]; (c) referring to personifications, abstractions, thoughts, words, actions, etc.;—occas. used pleonastically.
Accompanying an indef. pron. or adj.: ~ alle, alle ~, all of them; alle ~ withinne, all those within; ~ (..) bothe, bothe ~, they both, both of them;—sometimes used pleonastically.
(a) As dem. adj.: those; also, that [1st quot.];— ?error for þas, early sg. acc. fem. of this adj.; (b) as def. pl. art.: the [a few quots. may belong to (a)]; (c) as def. sg. art: the.