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colinian

The wonderful pronoun "they" revisited

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At the risk of beating this to death, here is my final edit:

  • A teacher correcting students should consider take their feelingsinto consideration.

This happens to me fairly often—I concentrate on one problem and fail to see another. That's why I need to resist the temptation to send copy back to an author immediately after I "finish" editing it.

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It also begs the question of verb usage.

"Is they coming?" they asked.

"They didn't say," they replied.

"What about them?"

"They didn't say either."

"Well am I supposed to buy all five tickets or just the two for us?"

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"Is they coming?" they asked.

I think that, even when they refers to one person, the verb is plural, to agree with the pronoun, rather than the antecedent. Thus, "If that person said they are coming, they are coming," not "If that person said they is coming, they is coming."

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