But for your help, no boys(boy?) would have succeeded in a competition like this.

I don't know why but boy sounds better to my ears here perhaps because of no one , no body. Is it fine to use boys here ?

  • Was it a boys only competition? And if there was one winner, only one boy won, so one boy succeeded. The question is not very clear. Aside, we say nobody not no body, however no one is correct not noone. Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 17:09
  • @WeatherVane - I agree it's an unclear question. I don't agree that "only one boy one, so one boy succeeded" (it could be a team competition, or a meet with several events where several boys are bringing home medals.
    – J.R.
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 18:15
  • @J.R. you missed the if one winner. Unclear question still. Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 18:19
  • @WeatherVane - Nope, I didn't miss the conditional. My point is that, even if there is only one winner, more than one can succeed. Success can be measured in many ways – particularly in youth events.
    – J.R.
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 20:21
  • @WeatherVane I think it can be implied from the sentence in question that the event was a boys only competition.. I don't know if there was one winner or many, I am just asking is using boys grammatical correct ?
    – user212388
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 1:05

1 Answer 1


I read it, "If not for your help, nobody would have won." I made a couple of summarizations that result in a clearer, more concise, less ambiguous sentence. I also left gender out of it, which removed the singular/plural "problem" from the sentence.


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