In sociolinguistics, a T–V distinction is a contrast, within one language, between second-person pronouns that are specialized for varying levels of politeness, social distance, courtesy, familiarity, or insult toward the addressee. Languages (such as English) having no syntactic T–V distinction may have semantic analogues to convey the mentioned attitudes towards the addressee, such as whether to address someone by first or last name, or whether to use “sir”/”ma’am” in US English.

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