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  1. #1
    whl626 is offline Member
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    Default Post ( it ) ? ( them ) ?

    Ron, I remember that you said ( it ) refers to the unknown. So it is not necessary to be in agreement with the previously mentioned object. How about this then

    example : If you have any questions, please post ( it ) or ( them ) at www.usingenglish.com/forum ?

  2. #2
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    If you have any questions, please post ( it ) or ( them )
    To my knowledge a pronoun must agree in number with its referent. That is, the plural pronoun 'them' refers back to the plural noun 'questions'.

    'any questions' is non-specific. 'them' is specific. It refers to 'questions'.

  3. #3
    whl626 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    If you have any questions, please post ( it ) or ( them )
    To my knowledge a pronoun must agree in number with its referent. That is, the plural pronoun 'them' refers back to the plural noun 'questions'.

    'any questions' is non-specific. 'them' is specific. It refers to 'questions'.
    So ' them ' is more appropriate ? But using a specific pronoun to refer to something specific is a bit confusing to me

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    But using a specific pronoun to refer to something specific is a bit confusing to me.
    :) Could you offer an example or two of your own? :)

    Food for thought:

    There are levels of specificity. Take for example the pronoun 'she'. It refers to a female being, the name or person of which we do not know.

    For example,

    1. She's coming to dinner. (Who is 'She'?)

    'She' is a specific pronoun: it refers to a female being, but 'she' is also non-specific in meaning because 'she' doesn't tell us exactly who the person is.

    The 3rd person singular pronoun 'she' refers to a female being, the pronoun 'he' refers to a male being, and the pronoun 'it' generally refers to non-beings, objects.

    There are many objects in the world, yet only two genders. If we use 's/he', our listener knows we are making reference to a being. If, however, we use 'it', our listener knows we are referring to an object. That in itself makes 'it' a specific pronoun: it refers to objects, non-beings. But our listener won't know the specific object in the world 'it' refers to unless we provide it with a referent.

    For example,

    1. "It has four legs." ('It' could be a dog or a table.)
    2. "Guess the animal: It has four legs." ('It' refers to 'animal')

    In sentence 1, 'it' doesn't have a referent. It's non-specific in meaning. That is, we don't know what 'it' refers to. It is in that way that 'it' can be said to be unspecified or, to use another term, unknown.

    All the best,

    Cas
    :)

  5. #5
    whl626 is offline Member
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    A typo :P. I meant ' something unspecific ' :P. As you said ' them ' is specific, and ' any questions ' is unspecific.

    OK OK Give it to me straight. :P:P

    " If you have any questions, please post ' it ' or ' them ' " ??

  6. #6
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    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    If you have one question, post it. If you have more than one question, post them.

    There!

    :wink:

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    whl626 is offline Member
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    As Cas said, what question or questions are still unknown and unspecific. Is it possible to use ' it ' to refer to the unknown ?

    Well I have a thread about it where I said ' them ' but being corrected to ' it ' about the unknown.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whl626
    As Cas said, what question or questions are still unknown and unspecific. Is it possible to use ' it ' to refer to the unknown ?

    Well I have a thread about it where I said ' them ' but being corrected to ' it ' about the unknown.
    You certainly can use it to refer to the unknown. People do it all the time. (I'm afraid I don't understand the first sentence.)

    :)

  9. #9
    whl626 is offline Member
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    Well, I just wanted to know if this is the sentence whether I should use ' it ' or ' them '

    eg : " If you have any questions, please post ( it ) or ( them ) at .... "

    ( This thing has been bugging me for years )

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    Quote Originally Posted by whl626
    Well, I just wanted to know if this is the sentence whether I should use ' it ' or ' them '

    eg : " If you have any questions, please post ( it ) or ( them ) at .... "

    ( This thing has been bugging me for years )
    Say:

    • [list:c91c3c3eef]If you have any questions, please post them.


    :)[/list:u:c91c3c3eef]

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