Questions tagged [singular-they]

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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2
votes
3answers
80 views

Singular they = general they

Well, here is the situation. I have four students. They did a test. Suppose that the regulation is a student getting a score below 40 gets the remark "study hard" which is written at the bottom of the ...
14
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4answers
28k 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 better ...
3
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2answers
136 views

Singular “they” in 1954

During the June 13, 1954, episode of American television's What's My Line, the panel was blindfolded and had to identify the guests, Les Paul and Mary Ford, by asking a series of questions that the ...
31
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9answers
2k 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 ...
28
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5answers
20k 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 ...
-3
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2answers
394 views

Each of the girls in Mark's shop spent “their” or “her” money buying cakes

Can you please tell me if we would use their or her as a possessive pronoun in this sentence? Each of the girls in Mark's shop spent their money buying cakes. Each of the girls in Mark's shop spent ...
7
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5answers
3k views

How to avoid sexist language? [closed]

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, I'...
-4
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2answers
139 views

Can the epicene personal pronoun be used regardless of semantic gender of the word?

Can the epicene personal pronoun 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, regardless ...
0
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0answers
36 views

How should I transform “Jane has just broken her leg” into a question starting with “Who” and whose answer is “Jane”? [duplicate]

How should I transform this sentence into a question? Jane has just broken her leg. How do I form a question from that sentence so that it starts with who and whose answer is Jane? Q: ...
31
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6answers
32k 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 ...
0
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1answer
37 views

how to ignore gender nicely in english? can i make the sentence plural? [duplicate]

why is this possible to replace: someone removed his/her with someone removed their can I also change: The user clicks on the button. He/She then sees.. with The user clicks on the button. They ...
0
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3answers
87 views

Should an antecedent of “everyone” take “their” or “his” or “our” as its corresponding possessive pronoun? [duplicate]

I am still confused about how to use the word everyone. I have this sentence on a test: Everyone wants to do their part. Everyone wants to do his part. Everyone wants to do our part. ...
8
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3answers
7k views

Why isn't “it” used in place of “he or she”, “he/she”, “s/he” etc.?

There is a related discussion on this Q&A site. My question is different. I'm all for gender awareness, but why hasn't a properly defined pronoun "it" been used instead of "he/she" or "he or she",...
1
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1answer
664 views

over a wide range of temperature or temperatures

I am confused with singular and plural words sometimes. For example as the title, I should use over a wide range of temperature or over a wide range of temperatures. One sentence example is This ...
13
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3answers
3k 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, ...
-1
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1answer
38 views

Doesn't and Their [duplicate]

'Everyone who doesn't cook their food' Is it correct? If it's correct then can you explain why do we use doesn't but the possessive pronoun is Their?
0
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1answer
275 views

What possessive is used when “everybody” is the antecedent? [duplicate]

Is this sentence right? Everybody is wasting his time. Is his or its the possessive of everybody? Most people use his but in my opinion it should be its: Everybody is wasting its time. I ...
0
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1answer
2k views

it's/his/her vs. their in singular [duplicate]

An expression below embarrasses me. Why not "it's" but "their" litter? a cat can use their litter box. in the context we are talking about a few cats, but in this, specific, example we speak ...
-2
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2answers
97 views

What does it mean “pay at the bookshop”? [closed]

I found “pay at the bookshop” in my conversation worksheet. I don't understand this so I don't know what should I complete the blank. What does it mean? Summer holiday A: Are you going away ...
0
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0answers
469 views

Subject-verb agreement when using singular they? [duplicate]

This is NOT a question about whether they/them is acceptable as a singular pronoun. I know some of you will have to die before you give that argument a rest, but I am starting here with the ...
0
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1answer
4k views

Should you use “it” or “they” when referencing a group of people? [duplicate]

Should you use it or they when referencing a group of people? Here is the example sentence: A group of students was walking on the road when a truck hit them/it and it/they was/were immediately ...
0
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1answer
446 views

Singular they for an organization, company, country

Sometimes I stumble upon singular "they" when referring not to a person, but an organization, such as a company or a country, for instance: Company A is doing well: their shares doubled in price ...
9
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5answers
11k 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 ...
1
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0answers
50 views

Were or was, the majority of people concerned? [duplicate]

I have checked the possible duplicates which flagged up on this and I have attempted research with no conclusion. ELU is my final port of call. I wrote, on another forum of Stack Exchange : 'the ...
2
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3answers
3k 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 sentence ...
0
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1answer
1k views

If you can't use “he”, “she” or “they” in a sentence, what do you use? [duplicate]

I was waiting for a plane to take off last week, when we had to taxi back to the terminal building to disembark a sick passenger. We weren't told whether the passenger was male or female. I was ...
332
votes
22answers
99k views

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

Is there a pronoun I can use as a gender-neutral pronoun when referring back to a singular noun phrase? Each student should save his questions until the end. Each student should save her ...
3
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1answer
99 views

Can it ever be acceptable to use singular “they” with a specific referent of known but undisclosed gender?

I am not sure whether these two examples using singular they to refer to a specific, singular referent are acceptable in educated speech: I had a friend in Paris, and they had to visit the doctor for ...
0
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0answers
17 views

correct pronoun to use with “person” [duplicate]

I was wondering what would be the right pronoun to use in this sentence: a person sees something that ... really likes he, they, s/he ?
67
votes
7answers
204k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
303 views

Should a noun following “singular they” be singular or plural?

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 ...
2
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4answers
8k views

Need to clarify use of “its” and “their”

I am having a debate at work regarding the correct choice: No investor has ever lost its capital. or No investor has ever lost their capital. It seems to sound awkward to say "its capital" as ...
0
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3answers
2k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Use of “their” with proper nouns [duplicate]

I'm writing content with dynamic names, e.g. "Alice" or "Bill" may be substituted in place of (name). Without knowing the gender of the name, what is the best way to reference the individual? Using "...
1
vote
1answer
891 views

Correct pronoun for “baby” [duplicate]

Stumbled along the use of the feminine pronoun for "baby". Previously, I've used it and singular they when the sex of the baby is unknown. Is it correct to use the feminine pronoun (she) for "baby" ...
1
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1answer
12k views

Is using They,Their and Them acceptable in research paper or thesis? [duplicate]

I argued with my I.T. teacher who is also our research adviser because as far as my knowledge is concerned I insisted that using they, them and their is acceptable based on APA style. She prohibited ...
2
votes
1answer
327 views

Gender neutral singular “they” in the first person singular [duplicate]

Can I use they in the following fashion when referring to oneself? [Name] is a Web Developer at [company Name]. They holds a B.S. in Computer Science. The emphasis here is when one tries to refer ...
1
vote
1answer
1k 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 ...
0
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2answers
2k 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
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0answers
40 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
218 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
172 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
19 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
94 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
501 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
726 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
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3answers
1k 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.
3
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3answers
335 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
821 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 ...