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    #1

    They

    Is "they" singular, plural or both?

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: They

    What do you think the answer is? Have you learnt how to conjugate a verb yet?

    (Note that there is a complication with your question but before we explain it, tell us what you think the standard answer is.)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: They

    Not really sure...third person plural most times. Maybe I haven't learneded this yet. Please explain.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: They

    You're right. "They" is the third person plural. If you're going to study English, it's a good idea to learn these:

    Singular

    I (first person)
    You (second person)
    He/she/it (third person)

    Plural

    We (first person)
    You (second person)
    They (third person)

    Those are the standard usages.


    Now for the complication. These days, if we don't know the sex of the subject/object, instead of using "he/she" and "him/her", we frequently use "they" and "them".

    The student might be confused by this question. If he/she doesn't understand it, explain it to him/her.
    The student might be confused by this question. If they don't understand it, explain it to them.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: They

    One way to avoid the complication of gender is to cast the sentence in the plural.

    The students might be confused by this question. If they don't understand it, explain it to them.

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    #6

    Re: They

    Singular they and their conflict sometimes. Can you use plural pronouns 'they', 'them', their', to refer back to a singular noun?

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    #7

    Re: They

    Yes, if the gender is unknown.

    Ems's final sentence in post #4 demonstrates this — referring back to 'student'.

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