Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Vietnamese
      • Home Country:
      • Cambodia
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 20
    #1

    They or it?

    When I'm talking about a company, can I refer to the company as they or it? Explanations?
    Last edited by stonecold; 30-Jul-2010 at 07:56.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Vietnamese
      • Home Country:
      • Vietnam
      • Current Location:
      • Vietnam

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 472
    #2

    Re: They or it?

    You must use "it", although "company" means a group of many people, but it is only one entity including many elements.
    You can only use "they" to replace for "companies".
    Thank you !

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,500
    #3

    Re: They or it?

    It depends on the context.

    'Heinz is a very successful company. It paid its shareholders a bonus last year' (it's an impersonal entity).

    'I going to complain to British Gas and find out why they overcharged me last year' (somebody working there sent the bill and one or more persons will answer my letter).

    Rover

  1. Nightmare85's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 1,333
    #4

    Re: They or it?

    **Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.**

    I asked a similar question a while ago.
    My opinion:
    When you talk about a company, use the 3rd person singular.
    Microsoft develops software.
    When you don't say the company's name, replace the word by they!
    They develop software.
    I highly suggest you not to use this construction:
    It develops software.

    Of course a company usually consists of people, but when you talk about the company itself, you summarize them, which makes it possible to handle it as a singular word.
    But remember: Company name = Singular; No name = Plural -> They

    Cheers!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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