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  1. #1
    Ju is offline Key Member
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    "someone, somebody, somewhere, something"

    I googled the following examples grom Cambridge dictionary.

    1. I know someone who gives piano lessons. (a specific person)

    2. Somebody has obviously made a mistake. (general, we donít know who)

    3. Can you hear something?

    4..There was no mistaking the smell. Burning. There was a fire somewhere.

    Does it mean "someone, somebody, somewhere, something" are always singular?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: "someone, somebody, somewhere, something"

    "Someone" and "somebody" both take the singular.

    In your example, "something" is an object, so you don't know what form of the verb it takes, but yes, it does take the singular. Something is going on. Something is burning.

    Can you write a sentence with "somewhere" as the subject?

    Note your question, but: I would use either "someone" or "somebody" in those sentences with no difference in meaning.
    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.

  3. #3
    Ju is offline Key Member
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    Re: "someone, somebody, somewhere, something"

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    "Someone" and "somebody" both take the singular.

    In your example, "something" is an object, so you don't know what form of the verb it takes, but yes, it does take the singular. Something is going on. Something is burning.

    Can you write a sentence with "somewhere" as the subject?

    Note your question, but: I would use either "someone" or "somebody" in those sentences with no difference in meaning.
    I know somewhere in school has something going wrong. Please pay attention.

  4. #4
    tedmc is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "someone, somebody, somewhere, something"

    There are exceptions though, as I found out from a recent thread which goes something like:

    Someone did something for their(plural) own benefit.
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  5. #5
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: "someone, somebody, somewhere, something"

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    There are exceptions though, as I found out from a recent thread which goes something like:

    Someone did something for their(plural) own benefit.
    Their is a singular pronoun in this sentence.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: "someone, somebody, somewhere, something"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ju View Post
    I know somewhere in school has something going wrong. Please pay attention.

    I know something is going wrong somewhere in school.

  7. #7
    tedmc is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "someone, somebody, somewhere, something"

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Their is a singular pronoun in this sentence.
    How could "their" be singular?
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  8. #8
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    Re: "someone, somebody, somewhere, something"

    'Their' means 'his' or 'her' when the gender of 'someone' is unknown.
    I am not a teacher.

  9. #9
    tedmc is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "someone, somebody, somewhere, something"

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    'Their' means 'his' or 'her' when the gender of 'someone' is unknown.
    It is an arbitrary exception to the rule rather than follow conventions.
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  10. #10
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
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