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Have a seat, guys

I think "have a seat" is a fixed phrase that does not change whether you address someone or a group of people.

Is that correct?

If you have more to add to the post, please do so as I would love to know more.

1 Answer 1

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It is correct, but there's more to it than just that one phrase. Any other action phrase can be used in the same manner.

When telling a group of people to perform an action, it is not required to refer to the action or the objects involved with it in the plural. In fact, it is more common to leave the action phrase singular, than it is to make it plural.

For example, you would more likely say...

Everyone raise your right hand.

...instead of...

Everyone raise your right hands.

...even though both are correct.

Now, if the objects that the action uses are plural, then you must refer to them in the plural, for example when you want everyone to raise both of their hands instead of just one:

Everyone raise your hands.

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  • +1 for the last tricky tip! Everyone has the property of functioning as a singular word. How would you say if you wanted to use guys instead in your first example?
    – learner
    Dec 16, 2014 at 19:29
  • But learner appears to be correct that it's a fixed phrase; "Everybody, have seats" is very strange.
    – user230
    Dec 16, 2014 at 19:32
  • @snailboat, yes while the phrase seams strange, it is not incorrect. As I mentioned, it is more common to use the singular phrasing, and it is so common in this situation that we never hear the other possible phrasing. Dec 16, 2014 at 19:35
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    true - but everyone gets just the one seat each, adding credence to the explanation. 'Raise your right hands' would have some wag complaining that they have only one ;-) Dec 16, 2014 at 19:36
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    @learner, Simply use "Guys" instead of "Everyone". Dec 16, 2014 at 19:37

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