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    #1

    how precise do we really have to be about grammar?

    Dear techers

    A Everyone has done their homework.
    a Everyone has done his (or her?) homework.

    B I don't understand nothing.
    b I don't understand anything.

    C Me and my friends went to see a movie last night.
    c My friends and I went to see a movie last night.

    I have heard people say all of those above. But there is probably something tricky about those examples.
    As for A and a, I still don't know which one is not ok.

    Would saying any of those sentences above make you sound less educated?

  1. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: how precise do we really have to be about grammar?

    NOT A TEACHER

    1.

    Every / everybody / everyone / everything are singular words, so we use a singular verb.
    [...]
    But we use they/them/their after everybody/everyone:
    - Everybody said they enjoyed themselves (=everybody enjoyed himself or herself)

    (English Grammar in Use - Raymond Murphy)

    2.

    - I don't understand nothing. Double negation. Many people object to this construction.
    - I don't understand anything. OK.

    3.

    - Me and my friends went to see a movie last night. Possible, but it's rather informal.
    - My friends and I went to see a movie last night. OK.
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 27-Oct-2012 at 14:14.

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: how precise do we really have to be about grammar?

    Some of these non-standard yet common usages do indeed grate my ears, but objectively I accept them as possible and natural within certain contexts. In fact, as for 2., English has been moving in and out of a double negative, along with French, for many centuries (just read Chaucer and you'll see lots of "ne" along with other negated verbs).

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