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They needed their own nicknames to join the party. So she made it up.

They needed their own nicknames to join the party. So she made them up.

They needed their own nicknames to join the party. So she made one up.

They needed their own nicknames to join the party. So she made ones up.

What are the appropriate pronouns? I think 'them' is appropriate.

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    It could be helpful in the future if you explain why you think a certain answer is correct. That could be considered part of your "research" effort, which is generally a good think to show in posts. Also, I noticed you changed what you thought the right answer was after I answered :P now my answer looks weird that I only explained two out of four. I guess I should explain all four. Jan 19, 2023 at 6:39

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The noun being referred to is "nicknames" (needed by "them"), which is plural.

So in this context, one nickname is needed for each of the people in the "them" here, and if she is making one up for each member, then it would be "So she made them up." But I would find it more natural in this case to write it as "They needed their own nicknames to join the party, so she made some up.".

If however, what's being said is that she- as a member of these people- is only making a nickname up for herself, and the others are doing so by some other means, then it would be "She made one up (for herself)."

Otherwise, making "one" up doesn't make sense here, since the noun is "nicknames" (plural), and "one" is singular (same for "it"). But if they needed one nickname for them as a group, then it would be "so she made one up".

"She made ones up" might work, but it just feels wrong here (as a native speaker). I can't put my finger on why. It's not that "ones" isn't a really word or can't be used in slightly similar phrasings. For example, one phrase using "ones" I just randomly though up is "Yes, officer. Those are the ones right there."

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  • I agree about "made ones up". It would be said "made some up". Jan 19, 2023 at 7:44
  • @KateBunting I agree about 'Depends on context'.
    – gomadeng
    Jan 19, 2023 at 12:00
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'They needed their own nicknames to join the party so she made some up' would work best but 'best' doesn't mean anything like 'well'

Can you find a friend to provide a better translation?

Either way, what language are you coming from, please?

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