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Question 1:

When we deliver a speech, do we use "you" to refer to the listeners or refer to each one of them as we are talking to him/her personally?

Talking to all of them (use "you" to refer to all the people who are listening ):

Today, I am going to give you ten tips on how to have a perfect interview. They can help you find your dream jobs.

Talking to each one of them (use "you" to refer to each listener like we are talking to him/her personally):

Today, I am going to give you ten tips on how to have a perfect interview. They can help you find your dream job.

Question 2:

I saw a sign today written like this:

"Hello visitors, you can't park your car here because..."

Because the sign says "visitors", shouldn't it be

"Hello visitors, you can't park your cars here because..."

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  • I would use the singular because each visitor has one car and each person is most probably only looking for one dream job.
    – mdewey
    Oct 12, 2020 at 9:24

1 Answer 1

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In general, whether you address your audience as a group or speak (or write) as if you were just addressing one person is mostly a matter of style. Either is completely valid.

Depending on what you're saying, one or the other might be necessary for your statements to make sense. Like if you're saying, "You all need to work together", well one person can't work together by himself, that wouldn't make sense, so you have to speak in plurals. But you could reword it, like say, "You need to work with others to accomplish common goals", and now you're telling each person what he needs to do.

RE "visitors park your car": It's fairly common in English to shift from a plural to identify the target audience, to using the singular to address each member of the audience. You shouldn't shift like this within a single sentence. For example, don't say, "Visitors should park their car in Lot B". That would indicate that all visitors are sharing a single car. But shifting from one sentence to the next or from a title to the body of a message, like posting a sign with a title, "Attention Visitors", and then below this write "Park you car in Lot B" is arguably inconsistent but very common.

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