I'm not exactly fluent in english, so I have a question about this sentence :

Someone can give useful tips on how to improve one’s work.

Am I clear enough? Is the use of "one" OK in my sentence?

I thank you for your time and help, if you downvote me, please tell me why.


Someone can give useful tips on how to improve one’s work.

Someone means "an unknown person" - in the sense that it's definitely one person, but you don't know who that is for whatever reason.

Without context, it seems like you are contradicting yourself here because you don't know who this person is, yet you are claiming he can give useful tips on how to improve one's work - you couldn't really say that for sure unless you knew who the person was.

This is different than saying anyone:

Anyone can give useful tips on how to improve one's work

Anyone means "of any possible persons" - we're not talking about a specific person anymore - and seems more like what you were trying to say.

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  • You're right, my use of "somebody" was wrong. – Fabinout Nov 12 '14 at 9:42
  • The other answers are good so I’ll merely add a nuance here. The use of “one” in this context, while absolutely correct, could be seen as very formal — even overly so — in many English-speaking places. The more colloquial “your” would often be used instead. As Sheldon said once, in The Big Bang Theory , Season 3 Episode 23, The Lunar Excitation, “Incidentally, one can get beaten up in school simply by referring to oneself as one.’” 🙂 – tkp Jul 21 '18 at 22:54

The construction is grammatically correct but idiomatically very awkward. A native English speaker would probably not phrase it this way.

It's also a little unclear what the meaning is. For example, if a teacher wrote this on a student's paper, it might mean:

"Someone other than myself is better qualified to answer questions about how you can improve this paper. [You should talk to them. His or her name is ... ]"


"You should seek help from someone [like myself]; they can give you tips on how to improve this paper."

or something else subtly different.

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