43 votes

What are the correct pronouns for referring to someone whom I have never met in person when the gender is apparent?

You should use she/her pronouns. It seems obvious to you that she presents as female so there's no reason you should use other pronouns. To use they/them pronouns would imply her gender is ambiguous, ...
Dapianoman's user avatar
22 votes

"He" as the antecedent of a relative pronoun

That example sentence is fine. Compare to the instruction from the Bible in John 8:7, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” But that biblical quote is from the King ...
Paul Tanenbaum's user avatar
18 votes

"He" as the antecedent of a relative pronoun

It is highly formal in style, and so not common in general speech. If you were talking, or even if you were writing something you'd not normally say this. Instead you'd use a general noun like "...
James K's user avatar
  • 213k
17 votes
Accepted

How do I understand a sentence without subject and verb in novels?

Indeed artistic or poetic language, as is often found in novels, can be hard to understand by someone who isn't yet completely fluent in the language. The incomplete sentence Through the sopping ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
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16 votes
Accepted

What are the correct pronouns for referring to someone whom I have never met in person when the gender is apparent?

The general consensus (for the entire English speaking community) about the situation is at the moment in a lot of flux. Historically (Early to 20th c Modern English), if you've seen or heard the ...
Mitch's user avatar
  • 1,961
16 votes

What do 'they' and 'their' refer to in this paragraph?

They and themselves would seem to refer to "children". There is no other third person plural noun it could refer to. It can't mean "we". Don't use "they" to mean "...
James K's user avatar
  • 213k
8 votes
Accepted

What do the pronouns "more" and "them" mean in: "Would you get more satisfaction out of your studies if you brought more to them?"

'Them' refers to the studies. 'More' is often a determiner (eg 'more water', 'more food' etc) but can be used alone as a pronoun to substitute for something that does not need to be said because it is ...
Astralbee's user avatar
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8 votes

"He" as the antecedent of a relative pronoun

That sentence is correct, though that structure sounds either highly formal, dated, or intended to sound dated. Merriam-Webster's definition of "he" itself includes a relative clause with &...
gotube's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

What does "they" in the phrase, "the best they can" point to?

It is correct to use "they" in reference to a singular noun because you don't know if the teacher is a man or a woman. Someone has left their umbrella in the changing room. One person left an ...
PavelAndré's user avatar
7 votes

What are the correct pronouns for referring to someone whom I have never met in person when the gender is apparent?

You can use "she/her" to begin with given their gender is quite apparent to you as you say. If they correct you - that is they tell you not to use "she/her" and to instead use something they prefer - ...
AIQ's user avatar
  • 9,994
7 votes

What do 'they' and 'their' refer to in this paragraph?

that they A new group comprised of our own children. may justify themselves The same group (our children) but now referring to that groups self. and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their ...
Patrick Hurst's user avatar
7 votes

What is the antecedent of 'where' in this sentence?

Structurally, it's ambiguous whether "where" refers to "YouTube" or "platforms" because both fit, but "platforms" appears better for two reasons: it's closer to ...
gotube's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

How to understand the use of 'only' in this context

Only, in this context, is a way of emphasising that they will definitely grow stronger. It would typically be used when you know, or expect, that the people reading or hearing would hope that the ...
SamBC's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

What do the pronouns “that” and “its” refer to within the enclosed text?

Two points: Shockingly poor writing. The sentence is a complete mess. that refers to the information part. its is a reference to "being excluded and ignored". In other words: Some ...
Ricky's user avatar
  • 3,156
6 votes

What do 'they' and 'their' refer to in this paragraph?

While others have correctly identified what the they/their refer to in a strict sense, a literal reading of the referents misses some subtleties in the rhetorical structure. The repetition of "...
R.M.'s user avatar
  • 934
5 votes

Can his be used for feminine nouns

In English, "his" cannot refer to a woman or girl. When I read that sentence, I understand it to mean that Narendra Modi's own 69th birthday was on Tuesday (not his mother's birthday). If that is not ...
Lorel C.'s user avatar
  • 11.6k
5 votes

"Those were among the few times" in "Hillbilly Elegy"

The sentence is a bit loosely constructed. "Those" is clearly plural, but it is referring back to a thing that was not indicated as plural or even really as an event: "losing my temper". It might ...
Hellion's user avatar
  • 18.7k
5 votes

A simple question on when to use "these" and when "those" while writing

A basic principle of language and of the English language: Most grammar rules offer choices in how to say something, rather than forbidding one choice or the other. Normally both choices are correct. ...
John Lawler's user avatar
  • 2,830
5 votes

Relative pronoun -- Which word is the antecedent?

Short answer: The phrase tasteful manner is the antecedent for the integrated (or "restrictive") relative clause that evoked an unhurried Victorian past. Full answer: We usually use ...
Araucaria - Not here any more.'s user avatar
4 votes

How to understand the use of 'only' in this context

The troll told the king and queen that Elsa's powers would only grow stronger. "Fear will be her enemy," he warned. The adverb "only" is called a restrictive focusing modifier. It's used here to ...
BillJ's user avatar
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4 votes

How do I understand a sentence without subject and verb in novels?

It is the river that is "wide and brown," and it is also the river that "rippled and churned." It is also the river that "looked strong, like a muscle." So all those it's refer back to the river to ...
ΥΣΕΡ26328's user avatar
4 votes

There was a farmer had a dog, but which one was named Bingo?

In some sentences, it is not possible to determine the antecedent of a pronoun with 100% certainty. This sentence is one such example. Usually the determination is based on the context of the sentence....
Tashus's user avatar
  • 7,246
4 votes

What are the correct pronouns for referring to someone whom I have never met in person when the gender is apparent?

Personally I try to use (singular) 'they' by default, whenever I am writing (and most of the time when speaking). I do this because: Using 'they' all the time, means I don't need to think about it; ...
DarcyThomas's user avatar
4 votes

What are the correct pronouns for referring to someone whom I have never met in person when the gender is apparent?

I think its fair to say that I'm acquainted with English's singular they, having used it in my own writing and speech since the early 1980's. At least with the US usage, I am. The question mentions ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 365
4 votes
Accepted

what does “which” refer to here?

The noun phrase that "which" refers to is "revenue from alcohol excise taxes". This follows the standard rule of relative pronouns referring to the nearest antecedent that matches ...
gotube's user avatar
  • 49.3k
4 votes

Which antecedent does this pronoun refer to? ("John killed David in his car")

Who owned the car? There is absolutely no way to say. Yes, this sentence is ambiguous. But it's also taken out of context. It's been presented here as an example; in real life, we seldom communicate ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

What does "they" refer to in this sentence?

This is called singular they. "They" can be used to refer to a singular person when the person's gender is not known or it is not desirable to attribute a gender to the person.
TypeIA's user avatar
  • 12.2k
3 votes

What are the correct pronouns for referring to someone whom I have never met in person when the gender is apparent?

There's no one right answer to this, but if the person is obviously presenting as a particular gender and has not specifically told you to use certain pronouns, I would lean towards using the typical ...
R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE's user avatar
2 votes

What does "it" refer to in, "Strange as it may seem..."?

When the pronoun it is used like that, it is known under the names of impersonal pronoun, impersonal subject or simply dummy pronoun (all these terms mean the same thing). The idea with impersonal ...
Michael Rybkin's user avatar

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