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Thread: it or they

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    #1

    it or they

    Hi, my dear teachers, your help is appreciated here.

    The Olympic Games are held every four years.

    We use "are" in this sentence. But when talking about the Games, some use "it" to refer to the Games,
    such as its spirit, its motto and so on.

    Should we use "it" or "they" to refer to the Games? Or both are OK?
    Thanks a lot!

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    #2

    Re: it or they

    Is anybody here?

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    #3

    Re: it or they

    Quote Originally Posted by tianhang View Post
    Is anybody here?
    Yes, and most of the people here who give up their free time to help others do not react well to that sort of impatience after only eighteen minutes.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: it or they

    Quote Originally Posted by tianhang View Post
    Is anybody here?
    You only waited 18 minutes. This is a service run by volunteers.

    The plural is right, but the singular is often used - especially when there is a singular noun complement: 'The Games are held every four years; it is a quadriennial event.'

    But don't take just my word for it. About half the users of this forum are still asleep - including the ones who typically pontificate about grammar. Patience is a virtue.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 04-Dec-2012 at 14:10. Reason: typo

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    #5

    Re: it or they

    Thanks a lot!
    Sorry.
    Patience is a virtue.

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