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  1. enydia's Avatar

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 414
    #1

    the use of pronoun 'one'

    Hi, teachers.

    Who or what does the word in red refer to?

    I'm very confused about such use of the pronoun 'one'. Could you show me some explanation?

    -------

    While much has been recorded of young people imitating media violence, little has been directed to the influence of sad violence on those who are able to differentiate the imaginary situations in movies and on television from reality. If one were to find no similar relationship it could be immediately surmised that the most direct solution is increased supervision of young people, and not the modification of media content. The degree to which people are influenced by what they see in the media depends directly on how responsibly they are educated about the relationship of fiction and reality.

    ------

    Thank you in advance.

    Enydia

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #2

    Re: the use of pronoun 'one'

    Hi.
    "One" means "any person."

    In informal writing, it's common to use "you" there, but it's an impersonal "you" and doesn't mean "you, the reader" but just "a person."

    Its advantage is that it avoids the passive.
    Instead of saying "It if were found that" you* can say "If one finds."

    *Note that I just used "you" there. It could have been "one" instead.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

    • Member Info
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      • English
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      • Canada
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      • Germany

    • Join Date: Mar 2010
    • Posts: 86
    #3

    Re: the use of pronoun 'one'

    Hello Endyia,

    The pronoun 'one' refers to people in general or any person. It's formal and used more in British English than in North American English. In normal conversation, Americans tend to use the pronoun 'you' or the adjective 'your' instead of 'one'.

  3. enydia's Avatar

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 414
    #4

    Re: the use of pronoun 'one'

    Very helpful!

    Thank you, teachers!

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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      • British English
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      • UK
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      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,844
    #5

    Re: the use of pronoun 'one'

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post
    Very helpful!

    Thank you, teachers!
    One extra little piece of information for you - the King/Queen (of England) has been known to use "one" in place of the word "I". I have tried to find out why this is, but even Google has failed to enlighten me.

  5. enydia's Avatar

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 414
    #6

    Re: the use of pronoun 'one'

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    One extra little piece of information for you - the King/Queen (of England) has been known to use "one" in place of the word "I". I have tried to find out why this is, but even Google has failed to enlighten me.
    Wow, great 'one'!

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