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Which one is correct?

I have heard that people tend to say: This is them/they.

But according to grammar rules it should be: These are them/they.

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  • Possible duplicate of "Nobody but he/him was present"?. The question makes perfect sense and is hardly off-topic, but it's one that gets asked perhaps once a month.
    – Andrew
    Dec 2, 2018 at 15:59
  • It's not about NOMINATIVE CASE versus OBJECTIVE CASE. It's about "THIS IS" versus "THESE ARE" (THEM versus THEY are not important really in my question)
    – user1425
    Dec 5, 2018 at 20:34
  • It's a pity the ones having voted don't see the issue.
    – user1425
    Dec 5, 2018 at 20:35
  • Again, this kind of question is asked very frequently. Perhaps it's not an exact duplicate of the one I link, but a simple search should reveal many similar questions,
    – Andrew
    Dec 5, 2018 at 22:19
  • show me please a similar question. I am eager to see it.
    – user1425
    Dec 11, 2018 at 10:38

1 Answer 1

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"These are they" is usually correct, though "these are them" would be accepted by all but the most pedantic. This is, as you note, in accordance with the normal rules whereby a plural noun or pronoun takes a plural verb-form.

That's true for the common case, when "they" refers to a group of things or people. However, "they" is a little more complex than most other pronouns, in that (like "you") it can be either singular or plural. When using singular "they", as a non-gendered pronoun for a single person, most native speakers would prefer "this is them". Again, "this is they" might be more strictly grammatical, just as "this is he" is more strictly correct than "this is him", but in everyday language that distinction doesn't matter.

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