Apparently, this user prefers to keep an air of mystery about them.

Since "this user" is singular and "them" is plural, is using "them" as the pronoun correct here?


1 Answer 1


Quote from Singular “They” - APA Style:

The singular “they” is a generic third-person singular pronoun in English. Use of the singular “they” is endorsed as part of APA Style because it is inclusive of all people and helps writers avoid making assumptions about gender. Although usage of the singular “they” was once discouraged in academic writing, many advocacy groups and publishers have accepted and endorsed it, including Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary .

  • Always use a person’s self-identified pronoun, including when a person uses the singular “they” as their pronoun.
  • Also use “they” as a generic third-person singular pronoun to refer to a person whose gender is unknown or irrelevant to the context of the usage.
  • Do not use “he” or “she” alone as generic third-person singular pronouns. Use combination forms such as “he or she” and “she or he” only if you know that these pronouns match the people being described.
  • Do not use combination forms such as “(s)he” and “s/he.”
  • If you do not know the pronouns of the person being described, reword the sentence to avoid a pronoun or use the pronoun “they.”

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