Questions tagged [singular-they]

For questions about using "they", "their", "them", etc. as singular pronouns.

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3
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1answer
226 views

What are the differences between the usage of 'it' and 'they'? [closed]

I need to understand the following with respect to correct grammar not everyday usage: 1. The number to the antecedent that both pronouns can refer to (Singular/Plural) 2. Can the pronouns refer to ...
0
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2answers
113 views

Personal pronoun (when the sex is unspecified) [duplicate]

Trade allows each person to specialize in the activities she does best. Why exactly she (and not he)? Don't we use they in such cases (unspecified sex)?
0
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1answer
36 views

Do we use them when we don't know the gender of the speaker? [duplicate]

If I see an old person, I will help (him - them - both are correct). This could be silly. However I don't know whether to choose him or them or both.
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6answers
4k views

Are some schools teaching “They” as genderless singular?

I've read this article in The Atlantic saying that in English schools in Europe, teachers have started teaching pupils the new "they" used as a gender-neutral or genderless singular he/she/it. They ...
27
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9answers
5k 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 - ...
1
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1answer
35 views

From singular to plural

This is taken from an interview (emphasis added): If you think of a musician who practices, who's never satisfied with their craft, with their playing, always looking for something new, always ...
0
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1answer
56 views

Combining “one” and “they”: When one learns, they have to

Is it possible to use "one" and "they" in a single sentence like this: When one learns a language, they have to learn about the culture as well. even though each of this pronoun uses a different ...
1
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1answer
33 views

Singular they and each - is it ambiguous?

CONTEXT: a card game involving more than 2 players. Each player can do multiple things during their turn (including picking a card). Considering the following sentence: During each player's turn, ...
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3answers
232 views

“They” instead of “he or she”

Please advise how to change the following sentence so that it would refer to the 3rd person of unknown sex (as an additional constraint, we need to start the sentence with "The other person"): I am ...
3
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1answer
51 views

Singular their and her

For: Somebody lost his/her glasses ...sometimes I heard people saying Somebody lost their glasses... with singular-they. But I've also faced situations where people say: somebody lost ...
8
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2answers
4k views

Their body? their bodies?

They should remove toxins from their bodies. They should remove toxins from their body. I am confused about these two sentences above. I think the first sentence is correct because 'their' means ...
3
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2answers
4k views

“his or her own” vs. “their own”

Compare: Everybody likes his or her own child. vs Everybody likes their own child. Are both of these sentences natural to a native speaker? I want to mean the same thing in both of them. Can I ...
1
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1answer
129 views

they are a traitor or they are traitors?

Which one is correct : they are a traitor or they are traitors ? I read "they are a traitor" on reddit According to some people on this Subreddit and in South Africa if a White South African ...
5
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3answers
2k views

“Does” with singular they?

Normally you say: they do not: they does. But normally they is plural, not singular. What happens if they is singular? Can you use say "they does" like you'd say "it does"?
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3answers
2k views

Why do people use they/them pronoun for a single person?

I see a lot of people using they/them pronoun on their twitter handles. And when I googled about it, I have come to know that it is a Gender-neutral pronouns. However, isn't it wrong to use words ...
1
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0answers
642 views

What use when I don't know the gender of a person? [duplicate]

When I don't know if a person is male or female, what word shall I use? I don't know but in spanish we use the male form: he. PD: I know that I could say He/She but I don't want.
1
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1answer
246 views

There is no singular, gender-neutral collective pronoun. (from Quora) [duplicate]

From Quora by C Stuart Hardwick (Award-Winning Sci-fi Author) from Houston, TX Many people would say "Everyone should save their questions until the end", but this is widely regarded as wrong. The ...
1
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1answer
944 views

Pronouns : One's / their

When do we use One's / their ? One must keep one's promise. I know this is correct as it is a well known phrase / quote. But what about this sentence ? One should exercise their right to ...
9
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3answers
378 views

Is “singular they” widely used?

I often use singular they to keep my sentences gender neutral. Many of my friends (none of them are native speakers), however, consider this to be grammatically incorrect, and suggest me not to use it ...
2
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2answers
611 views

Plural or singular when using multiple subject

If I say Martin and John consider it possible I would think that "Martin and John" makes the verb "consider" plural, which is the same situation as The guys consider it possible or They ...
21
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4answers
9k views

Who is/are they?

A:I assume you know about the latest goings-on with Hessington oil. B:I wouldn't be much of a partner if I didn't. A:Now they've decided to take on Ava Hessington personally. B:Who is ...
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1answer
55 views

When to use 'Their“ vs ”his or her"?

In the below sentence, we have once used "Their" and then used "his or her". Why? "Since age is not necessarily an indication of lower ability , treating a person less favorably on the basis of their ...
1
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1answer
16k views

An alternative single word for “He/She” and “his/her”? [duplicate]

In the following sentence ( taking it as an example ) Everyone applying for scholarship has to fill the form. He/She must also provide his/her result card with his/her form. I am wondering, can I ...
0
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0answers
33 views

Plural or singular verbs with singular they [duplicate]

Q. How good is the teacher at that school? A. They're a good teacher. They just sometimes hit(s) their students if the students don't pay any attention to what he's saying, and then call(s) for ...
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6answers
4k views

They write in their school diary (or) diaries?

Currently, I am using a children's English coursebook called Gold Experience A2, by Pearson, it's for a private student of mine. It's supposed to help young learners prepare for the KEY exam, and it ...
0
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1answer
97 views

Which is correct? Your or their?

But if you are a teenager who criticizes your parents for their lack of technological awareness, don't be too hard on them. Or But if you are a teenager who criticizes their parents for their ...
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1answer
127 views

It is correct to use the word “they” here?

The sentence I've constructed is "My boss doesn't need to tell everyone what they has to do". It is correct to use the pronoun "they" here?
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3answers
79 views

using their in this case

Is it okay to use their in this case: If one is driving a smelly car, it is most likely that their hygiene is horrible. Well, their is definitely plural, and one is singular, so I think it ...
7
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2answers
391 views

They love their f***ing family

I am trying to translate Osamu Dazai's essay 如是我聞(Thus I heard from the Buddha) into English. The original text belongs to the public domain: http://www.aozora.gr.jp/cards/000035/files/1084_15078....
5
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1answer
117 views

Why is “can they” referring to “everybody” grammatical?

Everybody can not be intelligent, can they? Everything is bright and beautiful, isn't it? Why first sentence takes 'they' (plural) But second one takes 'it' (singular)?
5
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1answer
2k views

What is member of the public?

I read an article in which I found the following line: It was returned to the open market when ownership expired, and bought by a member of the public. To my mind, they want to convey that some ...
31
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2answers
5k views

Usage of “they” / “them” / “their” when the person's gender is not known

I know that one can use "they" / "them" / "their" in place of "he" / "him" / "his" or "she" / "her" / "hers" when the subject's / direct object's gender is not known; for instance, just looking at the ...
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1answer
3k views

Correct pronoun to refer to 'The London University'

When referring to institutions (companies, colleges, universities) is it correct to use third person plural (they)? The first time I've ever seen such a thing was years ago here. Recently in a test I ...
8
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1answer
258 views

Singular they and gender neutrality

Gender neutrality seems like a tough nut in English. "One" seems very helpful, but since it's pretty difficult to phrase a right question regarding its usage because of the countless possible uses of ...
3
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4answers
614 views

Is referring to a specific definite person of KNOWN gender as “they” acceptable?

Egalitarianism and anti-sexism seem to be strict norms in English-speaking societies. I think a majority of people advocate the use of they when referring to a specific definite person whose gender is ...
7
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1answer
6k views

Is there a gender-neutral pronoun that can replace “his” or “her”? [duplicate]

This post has two parts: (a) a question and (b) a proposal. (a) Often, particularly while writing technical papers or user's manuals, I have come across a situation where I need to say: A user ...
0
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2answers
1k views

How to refer to a specific definite person whose gender is unknown [duplicate]

I think that referring to a non-specific indefinite person like everyone, anyone, someone etc. as "they" is grammatical and widely accepted as being natural at least in informal speech. For example, ...
1
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1answer
451 views

Gender free accusative/possessive nouns [duplicate]

If you do not want to differentiate gender of a person being referred to, for instance in public or legal notices, why is there no single word for the following word pairs? (he,she), (him,her), {his,...
2
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1answer
113 views

Indefinite pronoun

If a piece of information goes over someone's head, [they] do not understand it. My teacher explained to me that it is informal usage for an indefinite pronoun, the formal usage should be "his or her"...
11
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2answers
2k views

Can you refer to somebody using “they”?

In "The Troubles" of U2, there is this : Somebody stepped inside your soul Somebody stepped inside your soul Little by little they robbed and stole Till someone else was in control What I ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Is there a way to refer to a person (using a pronoun) without mentioning a sex? [duplicate]

I just found myself in situation that I am telling about someone who added to me in Skype: because of the nickname I think that it is a girl and used all the time the word «she». But as she didn't say ...
5
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5answers
4k views

Anyone can find the answer himself vs. anyone can find the answer themselves: what reflexive pronoun should I use with anyone/anybody?

I am wondering which following form is correct: Anyone can find the answer himself. Anyone can find the answer themselves. More generally, what reflexive pronoun should I use with anyone/anybody?
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2answers
211 views

Collective 'they' for singular subject: socio-linguistic impact [closed]

As an introduction to my question, this is a more-than-useful reference: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/he-or-she-versus-they In my days I was taught (English as a foreign language) that, ...
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1answer
866 views

clarification on using pronoun his/him against context [closed]

In this android application, in pronoun test, they have a question If anyone calls,tell ___________ that I'll be back in half an hour option 1 : his/her option 2 : him/her option 3 :...
0
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3answers
287 views

“their” referring to “it”

The union insisted on an increase in their members’ starting pay, and threatened to call a strike if the company refused to meet the demand. It is from an SAT Grammar Test. The right decision is ...
3
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3answers
190 views

3rd person singular (he or she)

I see sentences with (he or she) like : How to know if he or she is the best one for you? Give a Person Power and He or She Will Show Interpersonal Sensitivity. It's possible to use just one ...
3
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1answer
51 views

a good assistant uses their skills to help the master focus on their skills

I have seen this sentence in lots of websites and I'm really confusing about it: a good assistant uses their skills to help the master focus on their skills When A good assistant is singular, ...
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4answers
1k views

Is the article “a” justified in “they are wearing a cape”

You can't cast aspersions on someone just because they are wearing a cape. Shouldn't it be capes instead of a cape? "a cape" means one cape, "they are" implies it is a group of people, a group of ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Should I use “any” with a singular or a plural object?

I am a little confused if this sentence is grammatical or not: Assuming that any object can be recognized by detecting their primitive shapes, a new approach is developed. Would "any" be ...
5
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2answers
259 views

Is it acceptable to use “he” as a neutral pronoun?

In Italian, when I am talking about an unknown person, I would use the third person singular, masculine. For example, I could say Chi ha rubato le chiavi alla ragazza è qualcuno che ha potuto ...