Questions about the use of “they”, “them”, “their”, “themself”, or “themselves” to refer to a singular animate antecedent of unspecified gender.

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11
votes
6answers
6k views

Reason for the current trend to use «she» as the gender-neutral pronoun?

There are some questions on gender-neutral pronouns both here and on Writers. User Christine Letts writes: In academia, there is currently a movement toward using the feminine pronoun at all ...
216
votes
20answers
40k views

Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular pronoun (“his” versus “her” versus “their”)?

Is there a pronoun I can use as a gender-neutral pronoun? Each student should save his questions until the end. Each student should save her questions until the end.
1
vote
1answer
586 views

Is/Are “SAP Data Services” singular or plural?

I have sentences with software products, such as SAP Business Objects and SAP Data Services. The first one is the name of the company and the name of the family of software applications. The second ...
1
vote
2answers
51 views

Does/do any group want to give their presentation?

1.Does any group want to give their presentation? The above sentence looks grammatically correct to me. However, I am confused between the use of do and does here. (The presence of "their" and "any ...
2
votes
3answers
294 views

“They're using a cell phone” vs. “They're using cell phones”

The usage of singular and plural has always been confusing for me. I often see sentences like these People are using cell phones. People are using a cell phone. Does the first ...
9
votes
4answers
8k views

Gender neutral reflexive pronoun — equivalent to “himself” and “herself”

How would you refer to a gender neutral subject with a reflexive pronoun? It is unbelievable how a perpetrator will cast oneself in the role of victim. That does not seem right. Is there a ...
20
votes
9answers
979 views

The hidden flaw in “singular they”—what to do about reflexive pronouns?

We have a highly regarded answer by nohat to a question about gender-neutral pronouns, in which he points to the "singular they" and its long history of use in English. (Note that he also advises ...
0
votes
2answers
197 views

Referring to an author of an academic paper whose gender is unkown [duplicate]

Suppose you are writing an academic paper. When referring to an author of a paper whose gender is unknown, what pronoun should you use? "He", "she", "he/she", "they", etc? Maybe you think this is a ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

How wide is singular “they” being used? [duplicate]

One might want to use a generic pronoun, that doesn't specify the gender of the person. Although "he" can be used in such case, they decide that "he" still reflect the history time when male was ...
1
vote
3answers
132 views

Use of “their” in a letter addressed to an anonymous person

I wrote the following sentence in an answer to an anonymous reviewer: We would like to thank again the reviewer for the positive review and hope that the new version of the text meets their ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

'They' being used in the singular form [duplicate]

I am from Denmark and my English teacher insists on 'they' being grammatically incorrect when it is used in a singular sense (their hand reached...) No matter what I tell her she is convinced it's ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

Singular they with ‘known as’

I want to use singular they with the phrase known as. I am not sure if the appellation following known as should be in the singular or plural. Which of the following is correct? After completing the ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Send an invitation and let the user create their own password [duplicate]

Send an invitation and let the user create their own password In this sentence user is singular, and their is plural. So I am confused whether this sentence is correct or not. Is this sentence ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Can “themselves” be singular? [duplicate]

(This is probably a duplicate, but I couldn't find what I was looking for through search.) Say for example you have the sentence: He is referring to himself. You can replace "he" with "they" ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

TOEFL gerund vs infinitive question [closed]

While doing my TOEFL prep I encountered the following statement where I am asked to find which of the bold words is being used wrongly in the sentence: If one has a special medical condition such ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How to avoid sexist language?

I have observed that I use a lot of sexist terms; it comes naturally to me! I have resolved to be "perfectly" non-sexist from now onwards. I would like to know how to avoid sexist language. Yes, ...
1
vote
1answer
232 views

Stack Exchange profile: “This user prefers to keep an air of mystery about them” [duplicate]

When a user does not fill his "about me" section in his profile, the following sentence appears: Apparently, this user prefers to keep an air of mystery about them. To my knowledge (which are ...
-5
votes
3answers
253 views

How is 's/he' pronounced? Do we say 'She or he should …“ or ”He or she should …"? [closed]

How is 's/he' pronounced? Do we say 'She or he should ..." or "He or she should ..."? Ex.: When a person applies for a job, s/he should always bring a resume.
4
votes
3answers
288 views

What might this example teach us about singular “they”?

I just now encountered the following sentence in a student paper: Any new parents that have adopted a child of a different race generally embrace their biological parents[’] race. Having ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the most popular gender-neutral pronouns that aren't the same as other contemporary pronouns?

There have been attempts to use other contemporary English pronouns to stand-in as a true gender-neutral pronoun, given that English is lacking a commonly-accepted one for adult humans (non-humans and ...
0
votes
1answer
435 views

subject-verb agreement for singular they [duplicate]

The singular-they is becoming trendy*, and I'm curious about conjugating the verbs for this pronoun. For example, instead of "Jim is over there," is it correct to say "They are over there," or "They ...
-1
votes
1answer
195 views

Generic he, correct or incorrect? [duplicate]

Completely ignoring the sexist aspect of the word, is using "he" as a gender neutral pronoun grammatically correct or incorrect? I'm well aware that using "he" may come off as sexist or politically ...
12
votes
5answers
8k views

Is using “he” for a gender-neutral third-person correct?

I know there are different opinions on this issue. My question: Is using "he" for a general, gender-neutral third person still in common use for formal writing? By common use I mean, can I expect my ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the accepted stance on using “they” in a singular form? [duplicate]

Is it good English to say "They have just left", when talking about a single person (perhaps someone you don't know the gender of)? (I am a native English speaker, I'm looking for the view held by ...
0
votes
2answers
261 views

“Themselves” or “Themself” in a singular context? [duplicate]

I have the following sentence: In order to read the remainder of this book, the reader is advised to familiarize themselves with the concepts contained within this Chapter. I want to put: In ...
0
votes
2answers
277 views

What would be the best way to explain “there, they're and their”? [closed]

I was wondering what the best way to explain the difference and how to use the words "they're, their and there" properly because I always get them mixed up.
11
votes
4answers
34k views

Should I use “his/her” or “its”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Gender neutral pronoun Is it correct to use “their” instead of “his or her”? I am writing software documentation. I have this issue: I am ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Why isn’t singular ‘they’ used with 3Sg verb forms?

There are many (duplicate) questions about the acceptance, popularity and history of singular they (and their, them and themself) around here, it even got a tag of its own. If I didn’t miss anything, ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Can “a person” be used as plural? [duplicate]

Is it acceptable to write: A person can develop their talent. or a person can develop their uniqueness? In this case the person is used as a general term, not a specific person.
-1
votes
1answer
278 views

Correcting the usage of singular “they” and “their”

NB This is not a question on how to use the said terms. This is not a question on what the said term mean. It might just seems like so. Starting with the following sentences. It's insulting that ...
-2
votes
1answer
107 views

What does “themself” mean? [closed]

My English teacher explained about themself and themselves. I don't really quite understand though.
2
votes
1answer
311 views

Is the sentence “ask any doctor — they'll all tell you that alcohol is a poison” grammatically correct? [duplicate]

I am not a native speaker and I find the following sentence pretty confusing. Ask any doctor — they'll all tell you that alcohol is a poison. Here the speaker is referring to any doctor. Why is ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

Use of singular they on articulated sentences

I've understood how to use singular they on a single sentence, but the problem comes with articulated sentences like this one: If a person lies to you this way, they are probably thieves. My ...
1
vote
0answers
73 views

Singular they: Is it proper? [duplicate]

In one of my answers here, I used the singular they: When someone orders a rouge, they mean red wine which in French translates to le vin rouge. My question is, is it right for me to use they? ...
48
votes
7answers
113k views

Is it correct to use “their” instead of “his or her”?

Is this sentence grammatically correct? Anyone who loves the English language should have a copy of this book in their bookcase. or should it be: Anyone who loves the English language should ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

Addressing someone with no specified gender [duplicate]

How do you address someone whose gender is not specified, when you are writing something? Take this as an example: The teacher said we should go; ____ said we are good pupils. Would you insert ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Correct pronoun: 'his' or 'their'? [duplicate]

I would like to know whether his or their is the correct pronoun to be used in the following sentence: Neither she nor he has finished ....... work. In my opinion it should be their but some ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Using “they” for single person [duplicate]

I have encountered some people using pronoun "they" when referring to a single person, such in this example: Even if the cyclist is 100% at fault (I don't think they are), leaving the scene of ...
0
votes
1answer
166 views

Noun pronoun agreement [duplicate]

Is it now considered appropriate to use plural pronouns to replace singular nouns in order to avoid gender issues?
0
votes
2answers
137 views

Gender question [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Speaking about someone of unknown gender… Gender neutral pronoun I'm writing a paper about markets and mention several times providers and their offers. The ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

She/he to refer a user [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Reason for the current trend to use «she» as the gender-neutral pronoun? Can the feminine pronouns be gender-neutral? Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Speaking about someone of unknown gender [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Gender neutral pronoun For example, user clicked the button. I don't know if the user is male or female, what gender should I use? Now I read a book, where the user is ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Generic way for writing about person without knowing his/her gender [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular pronoun (“his” versus “her” versus “their”)? Is there generic way to write something ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

What is a proper gender-neutral form of himself or herself [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular pronoun (“his” versus “her” versus “their”)? Gender neutral reflexive pronoun — equivalent ...
7
votes
3answers
465 views

Whoever had the lice, they're dead now

This sentence is from South Park. There was a lice problem in the school and the children demand that their teacher Mrs. Garrison tell them who exactly had the lice. She says that it's not important ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

Should I refer to “one” as “him/her/them”, when the subject is not specified? [duplicate]

I'm writing a formal document, translating it to English, and I need to now how to say this sentence properly: " It allows one to have a voice and endows them with a power that was (...)" I used ...
-2
votes
1answer
598 views

Singular or plural pronoun for an antecedent of the form “A, B, or C”?

The number, gender, and person of a pronoun must match its closest antecedent. Most style manuals advise using a singular possessive pronoun when the antecedent is a disjunctive set of singular nouns: ...
0
votes
2answers
146 views

Which pronoun to to replace single antecedent?

This is my all-time question. This time, I was writing specifications of my application and came up with this question. Which one of the following is more commonly used than the others? Note that I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
307 views

Which pronoun should I use when writing about a generic activity in a thesis?

I'm writing my Bachelor's thesis where I describe students' activities in a dormitory. A student produces with a valid ID or passport here and hands in an ID card photo. In case he/she has a ...
0
votes
1answer
7k views

“These stuff” vs. “this stuff” [closed]

I wrote “I know all these stuff; I don’t have to go over them again” in my writing-exam paper and the teacher corrected it to read, “I know all this stuff; I don’t have to go over it again.” The ...