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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.

328
votes
22answers
96k 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 ...
65
votes
7answers
201k 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
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 ...
27
votes
5answers
19k 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 ...
31
votes
6answers
30k 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 ...
31
votes
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 ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the accepted stance on using “they” in a singular form? [duplicate]

Is it good English to say "They have just left", when talking about a single person (perhaps someone you don't know the gender of)? (I am a native English speaker, I'm looking for the view held by ...
12
votes
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, ...
9
votes
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 ...
16
votes
6answers
10k views

Using both “one’s” and “their” to refer to the same entity

Consider this example: Sustainability management in large organisations is an important activity that helps to achieve one’s business goals while at the same time reducing their environmental ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

subject-verb agreement for singular they [duplicate]

The singular-they is becoming trendy*, and I'm curious about conjugating the verbs for this pronoun. For example, instead of "Jim is over there," is it correct to say "They are over there," or "They ...
8
votes
3answers
6k 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",...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Can “his/her” be replaced by “his”?

Yesterday, I asked this question on Web Apps: If a Facebook user dies, what happens to the account? Actually, I wanted to ask it this way: If a Facebook user dies, what happens to his/her ...
2
votes
1answer
13k views

Anyone: (“they” or “he/she”) why is it sometimes plural? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it correct to use “their” instead of “his or her”? Plural versus singular: Anyone can learn to dance if they want to. Anyone can learn to ...
15
votes
4answers
27k 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
votes
3answers
2k views

Can the feminine pronouns be gender-neutral? [closed]

I know this sounds weird but I've been noticing a lot of texts on the Internet like this one: "Any citizen is concerned with her well-being ...". The word in question is "her". To me it seems like in ...
13
votes
4answers
64k views

Should I use “his/her” or “its”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Gender neutral pronoun Is it correct to use “their” instead of “his or her”? I am writing software documentation. I have this issue: I am talking ...
2
votes
3answers
683 views

Use of they as singular [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it correct to use “their” instead of “his or her”? I, and many people I have heard, occasionally use 'they' and 'their' in the singular when gender ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

User: She, He, She or He, or They? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a correct gender neutral, singular pronoun (his vs. her vs. their)? I would like to know if when I'm writing about a "user" (in the broad sense), what do I use? ...
10
votes
2answers
10k views

What is a proper gender-neutral form of himself or herself [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular pronoun (“his” versus “her” versus “their”)? Gender neutral reflexive pronoun — equivalent to &...
3
votes
2answers
616 views

Is the formation “[s]he” overly distracting?

Does the use of "[s]he" as a gender-neutral pronoun prompt eye-rolling in the reader or is it generally accepted? I know it cannot be pronounced, but it seems to me a helpful contraction in written ...
2
votes
1answer
30k views

“These stuff” vs. “this stuff” [closed]

I wrote “I know all these stuff; I don’t have to go over them again” in my writing-exam paper and the teacher corrected it to read, “I know all this stuff; I don’t have to go over it again.” The ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Using 'they' for person of unknown sex [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Gender neutral pronoun. In everyday use, I often use the pronoun "they" to refer to a unknown person if I do not know their sex. As in: Bob: Who was it that emailed you ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

“Themselves” or “Themself” in a singular context? [duplicate]

I have the following sentence: In order to read the remainder of this book, the reader is advised to familiarize themselves with the concepts contained within this Chapter. I want to put: In ...
2
votes
1answer
292 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
votes
2answers
2k views

Speaking about someone of unknown gender [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Gender neutral pronoun For example, user clicked the button. I don't know if the user is male or female, what gender should I use? Now I read a book, where the user is "she", ...
2
votes
3answers
13k views

Is the singular “they” acceptable in formal writing? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular pronoun (“his” versus “her” versus “their”)? I am linking to this post for reference. The ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

She/he to refer a user [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Reason for the current trend to use «she» as the gender-neutral pronoun? Can the feminine pronouns be gender-neutral? Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular ...
0
votes
1answer
244 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
967 views

Singular or plural pronoun for an antecedent of the form “A, B, or C”?

The number, gender, and person of a pronoun must match its closest antecedent. Most style manuals advise using a singular possessive pronoun when the antecedent is a disjunctive set of singular nouns: ...
13
votes
6answers
3k views

why is “their” the wrong usage in this sentence?

Why is their in the following sentence wrong? The modern American family differs in many significant ways from their nineteenth-century counterpart.
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Using “she” with gender-neutral nouns

The song “Frozen” from Madonna’s Ray of Light (1998) contains the lyrics: Love is a bird, she needs to fly, Let all the hurt inside of you die. Does she refer to bird or love? And why is it ...
1
vote
1answer
834 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
vote
0answers
57 views

Addressing someone with no specified gender [duplicate]

How do you address someone whose gender is not specified, when you are writing something? Take this as an example: The teacher said we should go; ____ said we are good pupils. Would you insert he ...
-3
votes
1answer
167 views

What does “themself” mean? [closed]

My English teacher explained about themself and themselves. I don't really quite understand though.