Questions tagged [pronominal-agreement]

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“Than” and “as” as subject - singular or plural?

"Than" and "as" as subjects, objects and complements. Under this topic title(581), in Michael Swan's Practical English Usage (3rd edition, page 575), he says that "than and as can replace subject in ...
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pronoun agreement in neither nor

Which one is correct? Neither my friend nor I feel my best in the morning. Neither my friend nor I feel her best in the morning. Neither my friend nor I feel our best in the morning. I ...
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2answers
183 views

Is there any such thing as noun pronoun proximity?

I have read of Concord (or noun-verb agreement) and was wondering if, is as I have been told, there is a similar grammar rule for noun-pronoun agreement/proximity. When there's a sentence where two ...
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67 views

Why “they”, and not “it”, is used here? [closed]

It seems to me that the author should have used a singular pronoun here: Bakunin: Universal suffrage by the whole people of representatives and rulers of the state — this is the last word of ...
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2answers
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Can the epicene personal pronoun “they’ be used regardless of semantic gender of the word?

Can the epicene personal pronoun they be used regardless of semantic gender of the word? In other words, for any word with semantic gender (i.e. lion, lioness, boy, girl, man, woman, cow, bull) ...
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3answers
343 views

Is a band referred to by “Who” or “What”?

If someone were to ask what your favorite band was, which of the following would be correct? Who is your favorite band? What is your favorite band? I feel like this is obfuscated by groups named ...
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1answer
728 views

Should I use “they” to refer to “the audience” in this context?

The audience has already recognized the existence of water pollution—they just refuse to admit it. In order to keep this audience reading, the author has to reveal the truth subtly rather than ...
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1answer
119 views

…if one of us dropped “our phone” or “his phone”?

It would be ruinous if one of us dropped our phone in the river, so each of us put their phone in their bag and set them aside. In the sentence above, is it incorrect to say "if one of us dropped his ...
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146 views

Which pronoun should be used to refer to“young figure”: “it” or “her”?

In my writing group, one man wrote this sentence in an except we critiqued: John stood for a moment and watched the lithe, young figure make her way down the street. I suggested it should read "...
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1answer
113 views

Singular words that imply groups

For example "party"(as a group of people) and "company". "The company is fine." But then I've seen people referring to company as "their". Which it's correct? "This company is fine, therefor I'll ...
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Mayoral Pronoun; it or he/she

Recently I have heard both of the following sentences: The previous mayor was a woman, wasn't she? The mayor is male, isn't it? These seem to me to bear a gender contradiction here; "the ...
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4answers
371 views

noun-pronoun agreement

Like the planets, the stars are in motion, some of them at tremendous speeds, but they... Just based on the above, how can we tell which noun the pronoun they refers to: planets or stars? Is there ...
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Can a pronoun and its referent have different plurality?

My question is as the title says: Is it allowed for a pronoun and its referent to have different plurality? A specific example I am considering is a sentence like this: I love this cookie so much ...
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1answer
145 views

Reflexive pronoun

What reflexive pronoun should I use when referring to a city, itself or herself? Lisbon is a city that does not show herself/itself.
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1answer
5k views

'jury': singular or plural [duplicate]

The jury (takes / take) their seats in the courtroom. I understand that 'the jury' refers to a singular group but does this apply when it is referred to as a plural in 'their'? Thanks.
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Referring to something belonging to a goblin: is it “its” thing or “his” thing? [closed]

I'm writing tutorial for fantasy game with said goblin acting as an example. Now, I need to relate to the thing belonging to that goblin, let's say it's an apple. Is it his apple or its apple? Shall I ...
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1answer
575 views

Should we say “they are high enough as they are” or “they are high enough as it is.”?

I've heard on TV: "We really hope property taxes won't be increased; they are high enough as they are." Would it be ungrammatical to say "...they are high enough as it is."?
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3k views

When referring to “one”, use “his” or “their”? [duplicate]

Is this grammatically correct? There is nothing like an animal attack video to remind one of their mortality.
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4answers
2k views

Choice of pronoun to refer to 'one of us' when 'us' is male + female: they, he, she?

Imagine yourself – a man – sitting next to someone you want to talk to – a woman – on a bus, train, plane, etc. After a while you say: 'One of us has to start talking / break the ice, don't they? / ...
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3answers
797 views

Personal pronoun - Using 'it' when introducing a person

On the NPR radio program Wait Wait Don't Tell Me (http://www.npr.org/programs/wait-wait-dont-tell-me/) Peter Sagal introduces the week's panelists using 'it's,' as in "She'll be performing Friday at ...
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6answers
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Is “Is it a girl or a boy?” really calling the infant an “it”?

So, my boss comes in, railing that "English is a stupid language!" Since this is pretty much a thrice-weekly occurrence 'round these parts, I barely raised an eyebrow, and waited for him to continue. ...
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Should a company be referred to as “he/she” or as “it”?

When a customer represents a company, not a person, and a pronoun is needed to refer back to that customer, should one use he/she, or should one use it?
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Why is “police” referred to using the singular pronoun “it” in this sentence?

With reference to this question Collective noun "police" — singular or plural? and as per my understanding police is always plural. But I got shocked after seeing police used as a singular ...
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3answers
1k views

Referring to X (plural) units of Y as an “it”

I am reading The White Spider, a book on mountain climbing, and I got hung up on this passage which sounded wrong, although I can see why it isn't... Herman couldn't be expected to hear him in that ...
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12k views

Is it appropriate to refer to a person of unknown sex by “it”?

I would like to treat a user as a non-gender noun and refer to it with the gender-neutral pronoun, it. E.g., The user defines two variables, x and y. It then multiplies each variable by a prime ...
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7k views

Why use “his” in association with the word “mankind”?

The economist Keynes in a book wrote: The power to become habituated to his surroundings is a marked characteristic of mankind. I would have used "its" instead but since English is not my mother-...