Second Person: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know what second person is? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on second person, including its definition, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What is second person?

According to Grammarly, second person point of view is a perspective that belongs to the person or people who are being addressed. The second person perspective uses the second person pronouns you, your, yours, yourself, and yourselves. First person perspective or first person point of view uses the first person pronouns I, me, my, mine and myself as the singular first person pronouns and we, us, our, and ourselves as the plural first person pronouns. Third person perspective or third person point of view uses the third person pronouns he, him, his, himself, she, her, hers, herself, it, its, itself, they, them, their, theirs, and themselves. See if you can determine which of these are third person singular and which are third person plural.

A second-person narrator in narratives such as a piece of fiction writing might use the second person plural or singular form for effect, but this is used less often than first person or third person. The second person can be used in the subjective case, the objective case, and the possessive case. This is more commonly seen in letters to an addressee, or in advertising in slogans like the below examples:

  •  Lego – Play on
  •  Skittles – Taste the rainbow
  •  Cadence – How Big Can You Dream?
  •  Olympus – Your vision. Our future
  •  Sony – Make believe
  •  Bowers & Wilkins – Listen and You Will See
  •  ATI Technologies – Get In the Game
  •  Nike – Just do it
  •  California Milk Processor Board – Got Milk?
  •  Ebay – Buy it. Sell it. Love it.
  •  Electronic Arts – Challenge everything
  •  United Airlines – Fly the friendly skies.
  •  Volkswagen – Think small
  •  XBOX 360 – Life’s short, play more 
  •  MetLife – Have you met your life today?
  •  Verizon Wireless – Can You Hear Me Now? Good
  •  AT & T – Reach out and touch someone
  •  Dell Computer – Get More out of Now
  •  AMX – It’s Your World. Take Control”
  •  Burger King – Have it your way
  •  Hallmark – When you care enough to send the very best
  •  Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages – Let your fingers do the walking
  •  Apple – Think different

Many different languages also contain words that mean second person. You may notice that some of these translations of second person look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are words and phrases in different languages that likely have the same root or language of origin, causing them to sound the same. The below list of translations of second person is provided by Word Sense

  •  Dutch: tweede persoon‎ (masc.)
  •  Hebrew: נוֹכֵחַ‎, גּוּף שֵׁנִי‎
  •  Arabic: مُخَاطَب‎ (masc.)
  •  Norman: deûxième pèrsonne‎ (fem.)
  •  Slovak: druhá osoba‎ (fem.)
  •  Lithuanian: antrasis asmuo‎ (masc.)
  •  Czech: druhá osoba‎ (fem.)
  •  Greek: δεύτερο πρόσωπο‎ (neut.)
  •  Portuguese: segunda pessoa‎ (fem.)
  •  Italian: seconda persona‎ (fem.)
  •  German: zweite Person‎ (fem.)
  •  Russian: второ́е лицо́‎ (neut.)
  •  Polish: druga osoba‎ (fem.)
  •  Korean: 이인칭‎
  •  Scottish Gaelic: an dara pearsa‎ (masc.)
  •  French: deuxième personne‎ (fem.)
  •  Macedonian: вто́ро ли́це‎ (neut.)
  •  Romanian: persoana a doua‎ (fem.)
  •  Telugu: మధ్యమ పురుషము‎
  •  Finnish: toinen persoona‎
  •  Albanian: veta e dytë‎ (fem.)
  •  Icelandic: önnur persóna‎ (fem.)
  •  Navajo: bichʼį́ʼ yáʼátiʼígíí‎
  •  Japanese: 二人称‎ (ににんしょう, nininshō)
  •  Tagalog: ikalawang panauhan‎
  •  Mandarin: 第二人稱‎, 第二人称‎ (dì’èrrénchēng)
  •  Norwegian: andre person‎
  •  Sanskrit: मध्यमपुरुष‎
  •  Bengali: মধ্যম পুরুষ‎ (môddhôm purush)

What are examples of second person?

second person can be used in many different contexts in the English language. Trying to use a word or literary technique in a sentence is one of the best ways to memorize what it is, but you can also try making flashcards or quizzes that test your knowledge. Try using this term of the day in a sentence today! Below are a couple of examples of second person from Your Dictionary that can help get you started incorporating this tool into your everyday use. 

  •  You need to prepare a wall before applying primer.
  •  To calculate the area of a room, multiply the width by the length.
  •  When getting rid of a drain clog, first turn off the water.
  •  You should use masking tape to hold a window pane in place before applying glazing compounds.
  •  To make lemonade, you add the juice of lemons to water and sugar.
  •  To add oil to your car engine, unscrew the cap, place a funnel inside, and slowly add the oil.
  •  You ran out of the house in your frog pajamas when you were half asleep.
  •  You have to turn on the oven if you want to bake the pie.
  •  To become a journalist, go to journalism school under the bright lights of a big city and get an internship with a large news station or newspaper.

What are other literary techniques and devices?

There are many different literary and grammatical techniques and devices that you might see when you are reading prose or poetry. It is important to recognize these devices because they are always used for some purpose. Knowing these devices can help readers understand the author’s deeper meaning and why they are using such a device. Take a look at the below list of literary devices from Reedsy and see how many you know! Then try researching ones that are unfamiliar to you. 

  •  Litotes
  •  Allegory
  •  Tone
  •  Flashback
  •  Metaphor
  •  Satire
  •  Metonymy
  •  Juxtaposition
  •  Archetype
  •  Hyperbole
  •  Synecdoche
  •  Allusion
  •  Oxymoron
  •  Symbolism
  •  Chiasmus
  •  Aphorism
  •  Anastrophe
  •  Tmesis
  •  Hypophora
  •  Onomatopoeia
  •  Euphemism
  •  Simile
  •  Repetition
  •  Anachronism
  •  Zoomorphism
  •  Tautology
  •  Anaphora
  •  Foreshadowing
  •  Frame story
  •  Soliloquy
  •  Polysyndeton
  •  Anthropomorphism
  •  Colloquialism
  •  Point of view
  •  In Medias Res
  •  Dramatic irony
  •  Exposition
  •  Motif
  •  Personification
  •  Isocolon
  •  Paradox
  •  Tragicomedy
  •  Cumulative sentence
  •  Malapropism
  •  Imagery
  •  Irony

Overall, 2nd person is a perspective of writing like 1st person and 3rd person. You might see this in a blog post, recipe, newsletter, choose-your-own-adventure stories, an email in your inbox, on instructions, and more. 


  1. Literary Devices | Reedsy
  2. second person: meaning, translation, anagrams | Word Sense 
  3. Examples of Writing in Second Person | Your Dictionary 
  4. First, Second, and Third Person–Ways of Describing Points of View | Grammarly