Is your neighbor moving out?

Not knowing there sex of the neighbor, what is the correct response to this question?

Yes they are.?

But something with this doesn't sit right with me. 'They' may well be the correct response if asking if your neighborS are moving out, but the question was singular.

Knowing the sex of the neighbor, you could say 'he' or 'she' is...

As a native English speaker, this question confused me enough to sign up and ask. Please opine.

  • 1
    In your example, you could simply say, "Yes." But the third-person singular is perfectly acceptable. In fact, except for rephrasing, any other choice has become politically incorrect. Even he or she is now frowned upon. – Jason Bassford Jun 27 '18 at 3:32
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    Also related: They/them for a single person. – J.R. Jun 27 '18 at 3:47
  • "Please opine." – no. If you know your question is gonna be opinion-based, don't post it because they're verboten here (there's a close reason that says "opinion-based – kill with fire ASAP"). They is alright, just don't think about it too much. – userr2684291 Jun 27 '18 at 12:26

You can always answer in a complete sentence:

  • Yes, my neighbor is moving out.

Otherwise, I'd recommend "they" for informal. "he or she" is likely to be used in a formal situation.

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