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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Danish
      • Home Country:
      • Denmark
      • Current Location:
      • Denmark

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 26

    Always singular?

    We've learned that words like somebody, everybody, nobody and so on are used in a singular context.

    But what if a sentence is designed like this:

    If everybody just ________ as they are told, everything will work out.

    Do we use 'does' or 'do' on the empty spot? Singular or plural?

    Here we have both everybody (singular) and they (plural).

    Is it actually two sentences in one sentence, where 'to do' goes with 'everybody' and 'to be told' goes with 'they'?

    Kind regards!

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

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221

    Re: Always singular?


    "They" (their, them) is frequently used as a gender-neutral, third-person, singular pronoun.
    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.

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