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    #1

    Should "an earthquake" be referred by "it" or "them"

    Dear all,

    In the sentences below, which pronoun should be used to refer to "an earthquake", it or them"?

    "Curently, nobody knows for sure when an earthquake occur. However, some scientists believe that the time is coming when we will be ablt to predict [it / them].

    Grammatically, "it" seems to be corect, but "them" also seems to be fine to me.


    Thank you!

    OP

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    #2

    Re: Should "an earthquake" be referred by "it" or "them"

    Quote Originally Posted by optimistic pessimist View Post

    In the sentences below, which pronoun should be used to refer to "an earthquake" — "it" or "them"?

    "Currently, nobody knows for sure when an earthquake occur. Yes, they do. The ground shakes, buildings collapse and people lose their lives.

    However, some scientists believe that the time is coming when we will be able to predict [it / them].

    Grammatically, "it" seems to be correct, but "them" also seems to be fine to me.
    I know you meant to say 'Nobody knows for sure when an earthquake will occur'.

    Your second sentence is fine with 'them'. The context makes it clear that the plural 'earthquakes' is intended.

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    #3

    Re: Should "an earthquake" be referred by "it" or "them"

    Dear all,

    It's really embarrassing to see my own sentences full of typos.

    So, if both "it" and "them" are fine, are they equally good? Also, what about "one"?

    "Currently, nobody knows for sure when an earthquake will occur. However, some scientists believe that the time is coming when we will be able to predict one.

    Thank you!

    OP

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    #4

    Re: Should "an earthquake" be referred by "it" or "them"

    I prefer them to it, as you're not talking about a specific earthquake. In fact, it sounds unnatural- I wouldn't use it. One works just fine for me.

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    #5

    Re: Should "an earthquake" be referred by "it" or "them"

    Quote Originally Posted by optimistic pessimist View Post
    It's really embarrassing to see my own sentences full of typos.
    Look on the bright side- you're not alone.

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