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Example sentence: "I love when your dog just lets you sit there to pet them. You don’t necessarily know if they are enjoying it, but they love you enough to just sit there with you for a bit."

Is this correct? We assume that the person who wrote this sentence is also talking about him or herself when using "you/your" but also representing everyone in the process. I have always been curious about this.

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4 Answers

It's not technically incorrect, but it is a less formal usage. A more formal way to say it would be:

"I love it when one's dog just lets one sit there to pet them."

That is falling out of usage lately, especially in American English.

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Yes - 'one's dog' sounds like it has to be a corgi. –  Edwin Ashworth Mar 6 '13 at 20:07
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@Edwin: I'm not sure Her Maj even uses the "royal we" any more - but supposing she does, wouldn't it have to be We love it when our dog lets us pet it? –  FumbleFingers Mar 6 '13 at 20:13
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I love when your dog just lets you sit there to pet them

This cannot be correct, as them refers to at least two dogs.

I love it when your dog just lets you sit there to pet it.

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It's correct, informal usage of the generic you, also called the indefinite you or the impersonal you.

Example recasting a sentence to avoid the impersonal 'you' (without resorting to the formal 'one'):

You can buy this book anywhere.
This book is on sale everywhere.
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It doesn't sound right. It could be taken as you are stating that sentence to someone you're observing as their dog sits in their lap...etc...

I think you should say... "I love when my dog just lets me sit there to pet him. You don’t necessarily know if he is enjoying it, but he loves me enough to just sit there with me for a bit."

OR

"Don't you love it when your dog just lets you sit there to pet him ? You don't necessarily know if he is enjoying it, but he loves you enough to just sit there with you for a bit."

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