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  1. infiniteone's Avatar
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 31

    "They" refering to "someone"

    When you look into The Collins Cobuild Advanced Learner's English Dictionary, you can find these kinds of sentence structure : "If you owe money to someone, they lent it to you....", "If you give someone something that you own, you provide them with it.. ", etc.

    Yes, I mean, this dictionary use "they","them" and "their" to refer to "someone".

    As far as I know, however, nethier "someone" nor "somebody" is a plural pronoun, and It's hard to believe that this famous dictionary uses gramatically wrong sentences to explain the meanings of the words, not in a few parts but in almost every parts.

    So, How do you think about this?
    Is using "they" to refer to "someone" acceptable in these cases?
    If it is, why?

    Thanks for reading my question.
    Always grateful for your help.

  2. Amigos4's Avatar
    VIP Member
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 59,964

    Re: "They" refering to "someone"

    View for some guidance on this question.

    My personal preference is to use 'them' if I don't know who 'someone' is.

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