Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: they

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 1,338
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    they

    I know they are the plural forms of he, she, it.

    When I use they as the plural form for it, it can be uncountable and countable. Am I right?

    Thank you.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 21,594
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: they

    Quote Originally Posted by Ju View Post
    I know they are is the plural form of he, she, it.

    When I use they as the plural form for it, it can be uncountable and countable. Am I right?

    Thank you.
    No, you can't use 'they' with an uncountable noun. Can you think of an example?

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 1,338
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: they

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, you can't use 'they' with an uncountable noun. Can you think of an example?
    eg.

    I put the rice on a bowl. They are very hot.

    Thank you.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 24,013
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: they

    Quote Originally Posted by Ju View Post
    eg.

    I put the rice in a bowl. They are very hot.

    Thank you.
    No, that's not right. It should be "it is very hot".

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 29,387
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: they

    I put the rice in a bowl. It is very hot.

    Be aware that the above is ambiguous as it's not clear whether "It" refers to the rice or the bowl. To be clear:

    I put very hot rice in a bowl.
    I put the rice in a bowl and now the bowl's very hot.
    I put the rice in a bowl. Be careful, the rice is very hot.

    "Rice" is uncountable when referring to a portion, and takes "it". If you want to make it countable, you would use "grains of rice". However, that would be unnatural when talking about serving food. We don't count individual grains of rice in our food.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

Posting Permissions

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