Archaic English: I don't have it

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Senior Member
I wondered how to say

I don't have it

In archaic English

It would be

Thou dost not have it (=You do not have it)

Thou hast not it (=You have not it)

Thou hast not gotten it (=You have not gotten it)

Or something different...?

I tried to find any of these in original Romeo and Juliet but it wasn't successful.
  • TroubleEnglish

    Senior Member
    All of your suggestions are wrong: in older English it would be "thou hast it not."

    What does this question have to do with Romeo and Juliet?
    So, every negation should have 'not" at the end?

    You don't tell about it - Thou dost tell about it not
    You haven't come to her - Thou hast come to her not
    You won't be here - Thou wilt have it not

    Well, there's not much of some old litrature with "thou", "thy", "hast" and so on. So, I relied on ShakeSpeare.


    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I'm not sure there is an entity called archaic English that can be understood as one form in contrast to contemporary English.

    English evolves century by century and contains multiple dialects at any given time.

    You would need to define your time period and then see what historical linguistics has to say about that period.

    Certainly there is a corpus of printed books from the 1500s on and if you are interested in the English Renaissance there is quite a bit beyond Shakespeare, including sermons, poetry, letters, diaries, published in both Britain and the United States (after 1620).

    But this is not medieval English, and indeed medieval English as it has survived in manuscripts is not that transparent to modern readers.

    However English literature contains a great deal of fiction set in an imaginary version of the middle ages, starting with the Arthurian story cycles that were written down in the late middle ages, but set in the Dark Ages before modern English evolved. And after the emergence of novels in the mid 1700 there is a large body of fiction and poetry set in an imagined middle ages. A self consciously archaic diction is invented over the 1800s in particular that has little to do with real medieval linguistic scholarship.

    Those literary conventions have persisted into the very large body of medieval fantasy novels and films over the 20th and 21st centuries. The popularity of Tolkien created a strong link between 19th century Pre Raphealite medievalist fantasy and much modern fantasy.

    Anyhow, all that is to say that there is no stable "archaic English" language. If this is a serious interest then you need to specify the century and look at the scholarship.

    If you just want something for a cosplay or LARP or a fantasy novel with a medieval theme honesty it hardly matters what you say.


    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    So, every negation should have 'not" at the end?
    If you negate the finite verb, the negation particle usually comes after the finite verb (because of the 'verb in second position' rule):
    Thou speaketh not the truth.
    Thou wilt not be.
    Thou hast not loved.

    There's an exception whenever you use a personal pronoun as direct object, in which case the pronoun goes after the verb and before the negation particle.
    Thou knoweth it not.

    Just google for "Shakespearean grammar" or "grammar New Modern English" and you should find a lot of information on the net.


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    English - US
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