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There are multiple peoples not on the list,

should I say:

I believe those who doesn't have their name on the list is clear. 

or:

I believe those who don't have their names on the list are clear. 

2
  • 2
    You could try It seems clear who is not on the list.
    – WS2
    Mar 27, 2020 at 7:21
  • Neither is acceptable.Perhaps you're aiming for 'I believe it is clear who don't have their names on the list', but @WS2's suggestion is far better. Mar 27, 2020 at 13:57

4 Answers 4

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There are people not on the list**.**

Should I say:

I believe those who doesn't have their names on the list is clear.

or:

I believe those who don't have their names on the list are clear.


Don't use either one.

Since those is a plural pronoun, don't is correct.

But whether to use is or are depends on what you mean, and your meaning isn't clear.

  • If the people not on the list are clear about something or clear of something, then are is correct.

  • But if it's clear which names are missing from the list, than is is correct.

So you need to rephrase.

But that doesn't answer the original question: Can members of a group of individuals each be referred to singularly?

  • Plural pronouns need plural verbs.

  • Refer to each individual (each single person) singularly: Lucy is tired. Paco is bored.

  • Everyone is singular (every one): Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

  • In American English, a group is usually (usually) considered singular: The navy is retreating. The team was drunk.

  • In British English, a group is usually (usually) plural: The committee are in disarray. The jury were deadlocked.

NOTES: Start sentences with capital letters. End sentences with periods, question marks, or exclamation points. The word multiple is usually unnecessary and wordy. People is plural for person, so (in most cases) don't add an s.

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Can a group of individuals be each referred to singularly?

Yes, but not in the way that you have done it.

"Who" is a pronoun with the referent "those" - "those" is plural, therefore "who" is plural. And the verb agrees with the subject.

I believe those who don't have their name on the list is clear.

I believe everyone who doesn't have their name on the list is clear.

In British English, it is usually ("usually" does not mean "always) possible to (i) make the distinction and (ii) common to use the plural for a group. (One exception is "the police" which is always plural.)

"The government are doing everything they can". "government" is considered as plural = all individual members of the government and civil servants, i.e. the current individual members of administration.

"The government is doing everything it can". = the administration of a country as a whole considered as a single unit.

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I would say "don't". Compare it with the old chestnut "one of our aircraft is missing"/"one of our aircraft are missing" where the correct answer is "is missing" because you are only speaking about one aircraft. I think people also get it wrong when they say things like "the government are doing everything they can". To me, government is one entity so it should be "the government is doing everything it can" OR "the members of the government are doing everything they can". Hope this helps! 🙂

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  • Welcome to English Language and Usage. Please take the tour and when you have a moment, read-up in the help center about how we work. Your answer would benefit from referenced citations. Mar 27, 2020 at 8:28
  • In a divisive backdrop, let's say, 'government are...'; unlike a unified backdrop like 'the government unanimously works for the people..' Similar is the usage of words like committee...
    – Ram Pillai
    Mar 27, 2020 at 12:18
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You should go for the second sentence. The sentence would appear to be addressing multiple people as clear if they meet the condition of not being on the list, so I would refer to them using the plural forms.

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