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  1. Lenka's Avatar

    • Join Date: May 2004
    • Posts: 863
    #1

    everyone

    Everyone has to decide for themselves where they want to live.

    I wonder why "them" and "themselves" is used when talking about "everyone".... You say "everyone HAS, EATS, SEES etc. (the 3rd form)", so why isn't himselfs/herselvs, he/she used instead?


    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 150
    #2

    Re: everyone

    That's a really good question.

    I suspect that to be grammatically correct, the phrase ought to be:

    Everyone has to decide for himself where he wants to live.

    But we try not to use gender-specific pronouns (himself/him) because they exclude females from the "everyone". So to keep everybody happy, you would say:

    Everyone has to decide for himself or herself where he or she wants to live.

    - but this is very long and clumsy.

    So we say:

    Everyone has to decide for themselves where they want to live.

    because it includes males and females, even though it's grammatically incorrect.

    I may be wrong about this, so you ought to wait for other answers as well.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
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      • Home Country:
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    • Join Date: May 2005
    • Posts: 2,045
    #3

    Re: everyone

    Boothling is correct. This is an opportunity to see acceptable language usage change right before our eyes!

    O brave new world that has such politically correct people in't!

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