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What you should expect from yourselves and each other

This phrase is spoken to a group of people, but to each person individually. Particularly because it includes "and each other," it seems to me that "yourselves" should be changed to "yourself." This is referring to each person (hence, "yourself," singular), while the last part refers to everyone else in the group.

This is someone else's work I am editing. If it's merely a matter of preference, I will leave it as is. If using "yourselves" here is incorrect, I will edit it.

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    Each other might be the bigger problem here. Can you provide more context for your phrase? Feb 24, 2023 at 17:02
  • @TinfoilHat The phrase begins a list of things the people in the group should expect from a program, the facilitator, and finally, from themselves and the other participants. How is "each other" an issue here?
    – Jenny
    Feb 24, 2023 at 17:25
  • "each other" could refer to the other people in the group, or to people not there (e.g. if you have representatives from different sites assembled and tell them to go home and expect stuff from their colleagues back home). So I guess it's possible, but not clear exactly what is happening.
    – Stuart F
    Feb 25, 2023 at 13:30

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The idea of "addressed to a group but to each individually" needs to be clarified. It's going to depend on the circumstances.

If a person is literally addressing a group of people then it would be normal that the "you" is plural and "yourselves" would be used. But if the address is to individuals, but in different times or places - for example the words are written in a book expected to be read by one person at a time, then "you" can be singular and "yourself" can be used. If this is part of a larger work, look at how the author is addressing the reader/hearer in other places and make the number agree.

The plural is not going to be wrong. The singular can be right depending on the circumstances.

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  • Thanks for your reply. Your description of how the passage is delivered is accurate. Each person will be seeing this individually.
    – Jenny
    Feb 24, 2023 at 17:31
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Using "yourselves" in this context is correct because it includes both the individual and the group as a whole. The phrase "what you should expect from yourselves and each other" is suggesting that each individual in the group should expect certain things from themselves, as well as from each other member of the group.

While it is true that "yourself" is singular and "yourselves" is plural, in this case, "yourselves" is the appropriate choice because it includes both the individual and the group as a whole.

So, it is not necessary to change "yourselves" to "yourself" in this context. The phrase is grammatically correct as it is.

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  • Thanks for your reply. I appreciate the explanation. I started overthinking this and it became muddled. It's nice to get a second opinion sometimes!
    – Jenny
    Feb 24, 2023 at 17:33

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