Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    cubezero3's Avatar
    cubezero3 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    322
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default "Someone else" can take plural forms?

    The question arose, when I read the following two sentences.

    If you flirt, you behave in a way that makes someone else know that you are interested in them.
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...make-play.html

    In other words, if it's taken, someone has already laid claim to it even if they're not using it at that moment.
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...736-taken.html

    My understanding is that them is used in the first sentence because the sex of the person in question, i.e., someone else, is not given. The writer of the sentence could have said him or her in stead. He chose to use them to make the sentence simpler. The addition of the word else after someone and something doesn't lead to a plural meaning.

  2. #2
    Nightmare85's Avatar
    Nightmare85 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Germany
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,333
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Someone else" can take plural forms?

    ***Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.***

    Yes, you're right.
    Instead of using his/her, him/her, people simply use their, them.
    (In such cases of course.)

    Cheers!

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,533
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Someone else" can take plural forms?

    I agree- it's not controlled by the use of else:
    Someone's left their bag behind.

    (There are other ways of doing this and some will recommend trying to rewrite to avoid using the form where possible.)

  4. #4
    cubezero3's Avatar
    cubezero3 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    322
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Someone else" can take plural forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I agree- it's not controlled by the use of else:
    Someone's left their bag behind.

    (There are other ways of doing this and some will recommend trying to rewrite to avoid using the form where possible.)
    I suppose in this case I can get away with saying their bag, instead of their bags.

    I want to know other ways of expressing the same meaning. However, I don't have a clue where I can find something about it. Could you please do me a favour and tell me, at least, what key words I should use to google.

    Thanks a lot.

Similar Threads

  1. "The dead", "The good" - plural?
    By Nightmare85 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 19-Jun-2010, 12:13
  2. Weak and strong forms of the word "just"
    By fiammarina in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-Dec-2009, 18:16
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-Nov-2008, 20:49
  4. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-Jan-2007, 00:42
  5. Plural form of the word "future" as a noun
    By Help in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-May-2005, 11:55

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk