Modern English

After Old English (spoken roughly 600-1100) and Middle English (1100-1500) came Modern English (sometimes abbreviated ModE), which runs from the Renaissance to the present. Although at first glance Shakespeare (who wrote around 1600) may look distant from what we speak today, he in fact spoke Modern English: older forms like "thou" and "dost" survived a few centuries into the period of ModE.

Modern English is distinguished largely by the abandonment of the many inflections that were still part of Middle English.


From the Guide to Literary Terms by Jack Lynch.
Please send comments to Jack Lynch.
Note: This guide is still in the early stages of development.
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