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Questions tagged [pronouns]

A pronoun is a word that is used instead of a noun or noun phrase.

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54 votes
11 answers
9k views

Use "him" or "her" in this sentence about a hypothetical gender switch?

What should I use in this sentence? If he were a girl, I would have kissed him/her. Should I refer to the real gender of the person or the one I'm assuming the person to be and why? Edit : Recent ...
7_R3X's user avatar
  • 1,941
51 votes
11 answers
17k views

Explain why "Who is she playing the piano?" is incorrect

A teacher asked me this question and I am having a hard time finding a simple way to explain it for her to share with her students. I`m looking for the easiest way to explain it to her because she ...
Hojo's user avatar
  • 621
35 votes
6 answers
56k views

Grammatical gender of the word "child"

I've been taught that a child is gender-neutral noun. But in the textbook on linguistics I've been reading, the noun is used as feminine. For example, a sentence in the book goes like this: The child ...
V.Lydia's user avatar
  • 757
34 votes
7 answers
42k views

A "user" is "it" or "he/she"?

I'm not sure what is right and what not. I've searched on Google and could not find an answer to this. How should I write this: I'm speaking about a user. It is the main problem. The question is. ...
Andrei Surdu's user avatar
32 votes
6 answers
5k views

Is "Whom" a deprecated word?

I'm learning English through online courses. I'm enrolled at the Write101x, managed by University of Queensland, Australia. In this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a7UQe82tnY about 2:47 ...
Fabio's user avatar
  • 437
30 votes
9 answers
7k views

How to deal with unknown genders in English?

When I start a sentence with words like "someone" or "somebody", I don't know how to choose the right pronoun at the end of the sentence. Examples: If anybody asks you about the money, tell (Him - ...
Michael George's user avatar
28 votes
3 answers
103k views

it vs. this vs. that

I've never understood what is the difference between the subject pronoun "it" and the demonstratives "this" and "that". To be precise, I understand well the difference ...
Virtuous Legend's user avatar
27 votes
1 answer
6k views

Why is it "your" and not "yours" in "to see your on Amazon account activity"

I have read on the Amazon Pay page: You can find all your off Amazon account activity here. Click Amazon Orders below to see your on Amazon account activity. Why does it say "your"? As far ...
Gamal Thomas's user avatar
  • 2,099
26 votes
2 answers
3k views

Should always use uppercase "I"?

Should "I" (first person pronoun) always be used in uppercase, or does it depend on situation (uppercase in the first word of a sentence)? And why are other pronouns not capitalized?
ᴀʀᴍᴀɴ's user avatar
24 votes
2 answers
163k views

Talking about inanimate objects in plural: they or it

Should I say: Wash some apples and put them into a vase. or Wash some apples and put it into a vase. Is it correct to use they with inanimate objects?
Denis Kulagin's user avatar
23 votes
7 answers
10k views

Can "he" and "man" refer to all genders?

All men must die, but death can vary in its significance. The ancient Chinese writer Sima Qian said, "Though death befalls all men alike, it may be weightier than Mount Tai or lighter than a ...
user avatar
22 votes
4 answers
5k views

"the wife" instead of "my wife", are there any other contexts where a possessive pronoun gets replaced by a definite article?

In English, one occasionally sees a replacement of my wife by the wife, such as in this sentence: there was a sudden thud and I joked to the wife that someone had run into us Does this ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 4,745
22 votes
3 answers
44k views

Each other's / each others'

This always nags me... I would prefer a logical as well as a grammatical explanation of it. We enjoyed each other's company. We enjoyed each others' company. Which one is correct? Why is the ...
Neil D'Silva's user avatar
20 votes
2 answers
22k views

is "them" only used for people?

Chop the tomatoes and onions and saute them/it? Should it be "them" or "it"? because I have heard that them is used only for people.
user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
40k views

Does the word God get the pronoun "it" or "he"?

Does the word God get the pronoun "it" or "he"? For example: I want to say thanks to God for what it / he gave me. I am talking about the God of Monotheism (force majeure) - like what the Jews ...
Virtuous Legend's user avatar
18 votes
5 answers
4k views

Can adjectives modify a pronoun like "rich they", "poor you" and "beautiful I"?

I want to modify a pronoun with adjectives like "rich he", "poor they" and "beautiful I". Can I do that? For example, can I say "I saw rich him driving a supercar", "Poor you can't buy foods enough", ...
Yuuichi Tam's user avatar
  • 2,421
18 votes
5 answers
172k views

anyone vs someone. Which one?

Has someone seen my bag? Has anyone seen my bag? Which one is grammatically correct and Why? Which one should I use at this place? Can you give some more examples?
hellodear's user avatar
  • 1,158
16 votes
3 answers
3k views

When the Gentle Giant song "Black Cat" refers to a cat as "she", does that mean the cat is female?

In Gentle Giant's song Black Cat it starts as follows: There's a cat prowling through the streets at night And she's black and her eyes are burning yellow My question is: although said cat is ...
Gabriel Santos's user avatar
16 votes
7 answers
3k views

Using the pronoun 'we' when I'm not a part of it!

This has actually happened with me. I was confused and could not answer to my friend. The context was the traffic sense in India, which is worst! :) In that context, I was describing to my friend ...
Maulik V's user avatar
  • 66.2k
16 votes
3 answers
14k views

“...than I am” vs. “...than me”

I read an English grammar article in which the author talked about the correct use of pronouns. He writes: If the extended sentence is “She’s more likely to ask him than I am,” in which the ...
jeysmith's user avatar
  • 773
15 votes
1 answer
3k views

Can I use "they" to refer to my own skills?

Me and my friend had a conversation. [My friend] damn, your listening skills are good [Me] they've improved a lot since I started watching English dubbed anime My friend told me that I can't use &...
cdleace's user avatar
  • 365
15 votes
10 answers
19k views

Can 'it' be used to refer to a person?

I read a dialogue. It went like this: A: Is this your family? B: Yes, it is. A: What a big family! Is this your sister? B: Yes, it is. Her name is Linda. (I think this should be "Yes, she is") A: ...
Vince's user avatar
  • 705
15 votes
4 answers
12k views

in order for I to do something -- "for I"? why not "for me"?

Example: In order to make use of the database, we need a way to perform what are called CRUD tasks. That is to say we need a way to create new data items, read and find existing data items, update ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
5k views

What exactly is the word "there" in an existential construction? And related questions

Consider the example below: "There was a cat under the table." There have been numerous questions asked that have involved the topic of existential constructions and the word "there" that is used ...
F.E.'s user avatar
  • 5,000
14 votes
3 answers
3k views

'We Americans like baseball' or 'Us Americans...'?

Which one is correct? 'We Americans like baseball,' or 'Us Americans like baseball'? Why would you prefer one over the other? I'm thinking of a situation where people from different countries are ...
numberfive's user avatar
14 votes
6 answers
5k views

Why can't I grammatically repeat the object with the pronoun "it"?

Someone told me that this sentence is wrong grammatically: Where is the calculator that I lent it to you yesterday? I've read the feedbacks from many people that I shouldn't include "it", ...
user516076's user avatar
  • 5,032
13 votes
6 answers
5k views

Why is the answer "it" --> 'Mr. Akagi was unable to buy tickets for the concert because it/they was sold out'

How can the answer in the following test question be "it"? Mr. Akagi was unable to buy tickets for the concert because it/they was sold out.
manh nghiem's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
3k views

To take oneself's life is not an act of courage

How do we make a reflexive using the "oneself" when referring to actions or inactions in a sentence. For examples: To take oneself's life is not an act of courage
user75498's user avatar
  • 139
13 votes
5 answers
206k views

Its or Their to refer to a company?

The company will issue (their, its) annual report next month. In this case, should I use "its" or "their"?
Sebastien Sim's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
2k views

"Despicable Me": can "me" be used in such a way?

We know a movie named Despicable Me. I guess it means "I am despicable". But can me be used in such a way? For example, can I further say unavoidable me to mean "I am unavoidable"? Are there other ...
Mistu4u's user avatar
  • 6,425
12 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is it OK to omit the pronoun when we're talking about an action that's been done by someone else?

I was wondering if it's correct to omit who in the following sentence: I haven't found anyone else who had mentioned this before. and say it like this: I haven't found anyone else had mentioned ...
BM of Spadana's user avatar
12 votes
9 answers
49k views

How common is the usage of "yous" as a plural of "you"?

Yesterday I was exposed to the fact the "yous" is a plural form of the pronoun you. while historically I know that "you" is actually the second person plural pronoun while the singular form is "thou". ...
Virtuous Legend's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
3k views

Why do some sentences have "thy" instead of "the"?

I saw many times thy used instead of the, so why is that? When should I use it? What is the pronunciation of thy? From the Bible (Christianity.SE) Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy ...
Pierre's user avatar
  • 223
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why is this not a pronoun error? "To those of us who had heard the principal [..] the news of the staff cuts was not surprising."

From the SAT: To those of us who had heard the principal of the high school talk about the budget, the news of the staff cuts was not surprising. Why is it had and not have? Because isn't those ...
dngr193's user avatar
  • 297
12 votes
4 answers
5k views

Using plural or singular verb after "neither" and "none"

With reference to "Neither", "none", "no one" + [of them] + verb-s None of the above sentences is strictly correct. Neither of the above sentence/sentences is/...
Sudhir's user avatar
  • 2,005
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Grammatical number agreement in a complex phrase using singular "they"

Answering another question, I used the following phrase: Your reader is [...], but they are a busy person. I have two difficulties here: In the first phrase, a reader, being singular noun, ...
Be Brave Be Like Ukraine's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
17k views

it is you who has vs. it is you who have

There is already a similar question here, but it is about forming questions: Which is the correct question ("Who has" vs "Who have")? When combining who with you in a statement, ...
CJ Dennis's user avatar
  • 4,032
11 votes
4 answers
3k views

"Outside there is a money receiver which only accepts coins" - or "that only accepts coins"? Which relative pronoun is better?

I'm preparing for academic IELTS by writing some essays and then correcting those using a grammar correction app. In the following sentence, Outside there is a money receiver which only accepts coins ...
ZenBerry's user avatar
  • 387
11 votes
4 answers
8k views

Is referring to people as "it" considered rude?

In Japanese, referring to people as "it" considered rude. Instead of "it", We say "that person" or information of the person (ex. a person who wares a blue shirt). In English, Is referring to people ...
ra1ned's user avatar
  • 629
11 votes
5 answers
2k views

Repeating "them" in "support them rather than abandon them"

Support them rather than abandon them Is the above correct? Is the repeating of 'them' correct? Can we drop 'them' when we use it second time?
CuriousMind's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
62k views

Should I write "X and I", "X and me", "I and X", or "me and X" in a conjoined object?

A question was asked in one of my friend's interview. The question was to determine the right form from the below sentences. Q. Correct form of English: Samuel was with Susan and I ...
Mistu4u's user avatar
  • 6,425
11 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is it always necessary to repeat the pronoun before each verb?

Is it always necessary to repeat the pronoun before each verb? For example, do I need always to say: She called me and she said X or can I use a shorter one She called me and said X ?
Cjxcz Odjcayrwl's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Refering to plural using it/they

This is from Animal Farm ... and surveyed with speechless admiration the ploughland, the hayfield, the orchard, the pool, the spinney. It was as though they had never seen these things before, and ...
preachers's user avatar
  • 991
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is the following sentence correct: "Confirm that someone is who they say they are"

Is the following sentence correct? Confirm that someone is who they say they are Not sure why "who they say they are" is used, as the antecedent to they is someone which is a singular ...
enet's user avatar
  • 297
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Does the verb 'to busy' require a reflexive pronoun?

It busied me for hours. When 'busy' is used as a verb, does it always need reflexive pronouns? In the above sentence, I haven't used the reflexive pronoun. I am asking because in Merriam-Webster I ...
thein lwin's user avatar
  • 1,805
10 votes
3 answers
586 views

Using 'anyone' in affirmative contexts - Is "he just wanted to kill anyone" grammatical?

I've just stumbled across this article in the Japan Times: SAITAMA – Police, who are interrogating a 20-year-old college student from Saitama Prefecture on suspicion of stabbing to death a 21-year-...
lucysan's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes
1 answer
4k views

When to use an object pronoun or a possessive adjective before a gerund

The rule says that we can use a possessive adjective or an object pronoun before a gerund. Is there a rule that says when to use each or are they interchangeable? Some say that it's wrong to use an ...
Vic's user avatar
  • 3,674
10 votes
3 answers
24k views

Can an 'adverb' modify 'nouns/pronouns'?

While answering to this question here, very interesting discussion took place with CopperKettle. It's absolutely right that adverbs modify many things, but nouns/pronouns. But then, expressions ...
Maulik V's user avatar
  • 66.2k
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

'maybe not us' or 'maybe not we'

(from Seinfeld) -- We could build a cabin like that. -- Well, maybe not us, but two men could. I would use we instead of us. Is us here grammatically correct?
mosceo's user avatar
  • 7,266
9 votes
9 answers
5k views

Can "it" refer to something we haven't mentioned yet?

We usually use pronouns to refer back to people or things that we already mentioned. Can we use pronouns before we mention the noun? A: Are you going to the game? B: No, it's sold out. There ...
Shannak's user avatar
  • 4,540

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