In many classic books, I see addressing parents by plural of nobility (Ukr: Пошанна множина), most probably as a sign of respect and dignity:

Ви, тату, говорите до мене, наче до маленької, – сказала Марта, осміхнувшись.
(Іван Нечуй-Левицький, «Хмари»)

What is the current, actual amount of usage for this construct in modern Ukrainian?

Further reading:

  • @KyryloYatsenko same here. I've found a couple of forums with people discussing this matter: golos sokalshchyny, maidan. Therefore, we can't say "it isn't used at all". People there share their experience of using both approaches.
    – P. Vowk
    Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 20:21
  • Серед видачі гугла на цю тему багато публічно доступних робіт посилається на Історія українського мовного етикету. Звертання. також тут з посиланням на роботу Миронюк говориться про те що подібне шанобливе звертання до батьків має тенденцію зменшуватися через "зміну відносин з опікунських на партнерські", але поточний стан справ не цитується
    – chizh
    Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 20:32
  • @Chizh I propose to convert that into an answer.
    – Sassa NF
    Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 22:03
  • 2
    as for exact numbers I have this but it's definitely offtopic :)
    – chizh
    Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 22:59
  • @KyryloYatsenko, you're wrong. I recently saw a la-a-arge topic on Facebook. Most (10:1 or even 100:1) uses "ти". Still, supporters of "Ви" were definitely present (those who call their own parents in this way and/or teach their children to refer them in this way). There were even combinations (like call "ти" when child is small and re-teach for "Ви" when child becomes teenager). (I also thought that "Ви" isn't used for parents nowadays, but...)
    – Sasha
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 21:26

2 Answers 2


My mother always said Ви as a plural to her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. My father always used ти as a singular to his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

I am not that young anymore and I use singular form for my parents and grandparents but plural for aunts and uncles. Generation of my parents, according to my observation, used Ви in 70-80% of cases. My generation - 10-20%. I am originally from south west of Ukraine.

So in general I would say it depends on the region, religion and real amount of respect you want to put in your words. A couple of words about religion: what I have seen is - the more religious people the more common is to use plural form.

I would also agree with Chizh's comment - the tendency I see is to use more and more singular form.


In modern Ukrainian addressing parents by plural of nobility is very rare. Google search for "мамо, ви" returns only 4660 resylts, while more common version "мамо, ти" returns 200 000 results.

To my experience, plural of nobility nowadays is used mostly when addressing mother-in-law by word "мамо".

  • 1
    Your research would be great if it contained other combinations like «ви, мамо», «ви, люба мамо», «матусю, ви», «ви, маманю» etc. Admittedly, I can't build such search query; but if you can, that would be a great answer. Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 19:24
  • I agree, you should extend your answer with other search results.
    – P. Vowk
    Commented Nov 24, 2018 at 17:57

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