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  1. #1
    kadioguy is offline Key Member
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    themselves used after words like everyone, anyone , no one etc

    In LDOCE6:

    themselves pronoun.

    One of the definitions:

    used after words like ‘everyone’, ‘anyone’, ‘no one’ etc when you talk about someone already mentioned and you do not know what sex they are or it is not important. Many teachers think this is not correct English:

    Someone told me they’d actually seen the accident happen themselves.

    ---------

    If the usage above is not correct, how can I use it correctly?

    Maybe like this?

    Someone told me they’d actually seen the accident happen himself/herself.

    Thanks!
    I am not a teacher.

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: themselves used after words like everyone, anyone , no one etc

    I'd use the first, "incorrect" version. Those who insist it's wrong ignore its widespread use and can't offer a graceful replacement.

    You can avoid the problem by simply omitting the reflexive pronoun altogether, but that changes the meaning a little.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
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    Re: themselves used after words like everyone, anyone , no one etc

    If the "someone" in question had indeed "told me" about it, the sex of that person would be known. That means you could use:

    Someone told me that he himself had actually seen the accident happen.
    Someone told me that she herself had actually seen the accident happen.

    Admittedly, the reflexive pronoun is not required in either.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. #4
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: themselves used after words like everyone, anyone , no one etc

    kadioguy, please do not post the same question in another forum simultaneously.

    If you have not received satisfactory answers in one forum after a reasonable time, you should give us a link to it to avoid duplication of effort.

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