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17

I think the reason for your friend's preference is that using either the male or female pronouns implicitly pigeon-holes the person in question as either one or the other. However, all of the examples you give seem to me to be forced, and to shout out loud "Hey, look at how sensitive I'm being! I'm not calling Kris either male or female!" There are ...


13

There really is no correct answer to this question, and not even a good consensus convention. Here are some options, such as they are: Generic he Doing this, however, in English -- a language without gendered nouns -- can prove inaccurate and may strike some readers as sexist. You could also do a generic she but this will definitely read as reactionary ...


12

I don't know anybody who declares themself to be a non-binary person or genderqueer. In fact, I'm not ashamed to admit I had to look up those terms. But if a person prefers to be not categorized as being one sex or the other, for whatever reason, we should respect their decision. And I believe this is the key issue, if your friend prefers the singular they ...


6

If the victim is neutral, why not use "their"?


5

I grew up using the singular they, and in my grammar you should not use it for anybody who has been referenced by their name. So this is wrong: *Kris phoned, and they said you should return their call. But this is fine: Somebody called Kris phoned, and they said you should return their call. On the other hand, if Kris wants to be called "they", ...


5

In my office, emails addressed to groups commonly begin with “Hi all”. That seems like a fine way to establish the audience as the whole group. After that, you could say “would you like to join me for a hike?” “You”, after all, isn’t necessarily singular. Even if people feel like interpreting “you” as singular, they can see that you are addressing the ...


5

There are already several good answers, but just to add a few more cents, I would summarise the situation as: Singular they is long-established, and indisputably grammatical, for referring either to a generic person (“If anyone disagrees, they should speak now.”) or persons of unknown gender (“Did you hear, there’s a new hire arriving tomorrow!  I wonder ...


4

As someone who is also non-binary and prefers "they" pronouns, the accepted answer is correct, but I'd like to point out that the examples replaced are also perfectly fine (with the exception of the third one, the correct usage there would be "can you please pass it to them"). May I also suggest simply asking your friend (privately) about their pronouns? ...


2

If you like using "y'all" when speaking but dislike it in written form, why not split up the contraction to make it the more formal "you all"? E.g. Would you all like to join me for a hike this weekend?


2

It's "pass it to them", since "them" is the objective case of "they". Otherwise your three examples are all grammatically correct. Suppose you meet some one you think is a woman but turns out to be a man. It is not grammatically incorrect to say "She is very smart". It's just semantically incorrect. In Peanuts Marcie refers to Patty as "Sir". That's not ...


2

If you feel having word "I" leading every sentence is too jarring you could shift its placement to further along in the sentence. E.g. "My hand was shaking. I opened the email, and began to read the first line. The first two words were all I needed to see: “We’re sorry.” Excusing myself from class I walked down to the restroom. I was alone. It was quiet. I ...


2

I cannot answer to the grammatical appropriateness of they (though others here seem to indicate it is becoming more acceptable). I can also agree with Dave Mulligan's answer that using the name ("Kris") in many situations would be most appropriate. However, there are also other levels of appropriateness. I do not know how popular this opinion might be, but ...


2

From Wikipedia: While the use, in formal English, of he, him or his as a gender-neutral pronoun has traditionally been considered grammatically correct, such use can also be considered to be a violation of gender agreement, as well as being prejudicial and, sometimes, confusing or absurd...To redress the perceived imbalance resulting from use of generic ...


2

Your and You're are quite different things. Your is a pronoun possessive, your house, your thoughts, your smile etc. So this means your example 'b' is correct. You're is short for you are: e.g. ...you're very good looking; ...you're a pain in the neck; ...don't go until you're ready etc.


2

English does not have fixed gender based pronouns, other than customary practices which are historical not grammatical. Maybe you are confusing English with French. In answer to your question, you can use either in a neutral context, and it would be equally valid (grammatically). There are no cases where either the feminine or masculine must be used. For ...


1

Every year the Netherlands sends 20,000 tulip bulbs to Canada to thank 'them' for 'their' aid in the Second World War. I understand that them and their is used to say about Canada, Why do they not use her or its or his? We do not know why "they" used them and their instead of her or his or its. After all, we cannot enter into the mind of ...


1

The use of the words their and them are mainly in context. Here, one is not referring to the country(the land) itself, but the people. Therefore, Every year the Netherlands sends 20,000 tulip bulbs to Canada to thank them for their aid in the Second World War. refers to the Canadians who receive gratitude and originally helped the Dutch, making the ...


1

"You're" is the contraction of "You are". "Your" is a possessive, like my, his, her, our, their. So, "you're" would be meaningless, and "your" appropriate. Incidentally, the mix of present perfect and past simple in this sentence is not natural, but that's a separate issue


1

Wouldn't "It" be more appropriate since it is non-gender and singular? "My friend is here. It is hungry and wants cake." "It left an umbrella at my house.


1

We need to be careful with the idea of a demonstrative pronoun. Consider if we are standing in a store and I say, "I don't like that." You have no idea what I don't like and the sentence is meaningless unless I point to something. In this case, my communication includes a gesture; the gesture is the noun, and "that" is a demonstrative adjective modifying my ...



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