Your Excellency

< Previous | Next >
  • mannoushka

    Senior Member
    Iran/Persian
    Charming! I think the 3rd person singular makes more sense to use, since the whole point is to treat the person you are addressing as if he/she were too good for you to address directly and in the 2nd person. It is presumably more respectful to speak 'from a distance', pretending the person was actually not present. Am I right?
    Thanks for making me welcome into the circle!
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Charming! I think the 3rd person singular makes more sense to use, since the whole point is to treat the person you are addressing as if he/she were too good for you to address directly and in the 2nd person. It is presumably more respectful to speak 'from a distance', pretending the person was actually not present. Am I right?
    Thanks for making me welcome into the circle!
    Well, from a cultural point of view, you may well be right. From an English-language point of view, however, you would use "deserves" because "Your Excellency" is singular. If you were to use the plural "Exellencies", then it would be:

    "Your Excellencies deserve a good rest."
     

    nzfauna

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    Unfortunately, no. English doesn't work like that.

    Your Excellency is a title, it refers to a particular person, therefore it is treated the same as he/she/it/one/John/Sarah.
     

    mannoushka

    Senior Member
    Iran/Persian
    Thank you, All, for your enlightening posts!

    Of course, it also depends on the syntax, does it not; note please these two examples:

    "Your Excellency, You are the most competent Official for the job!"
    "Your Excellency is the most competent official for the job!"

    It seems there are altogether two ways of addressing a VIP using the honorific 'your excellency' or such like, and that one of these two ways is more formal than the other, requiring that the third-person-singular verb form be used.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top