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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    help them generate

    Why is "them" used instead of "themselves"?

    34. Connecting and combining ideas occurs organically when people of __________________ get together. Some people are so aware of this that they literally go out of their way to create a new association in their lives in order to stir up their thinking and help them generate new ideas

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: help them generate

    The reflexive pronoun is not needed there. The general rule is never use a reflexive pronoun where a regular pronoun will work.

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: help them generate

    I can't tell the difference between the two. Doesn't 2 imply "some people help "another type of people other than themselves""?

    1. Some people help themselves generate new ideas.
    2. Some people help them generate new ideas.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: help them generate

    I don't understand your point.

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: help them generate

    It's possible grammatically, but it's so unlikely semantically. I'm going to seek out new associations so that the new people I am associated with can think of new ideas? Not likely. But we form associations together so together we think of new ideas.
    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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