Singular They Agreement

One of the football hooligans stumbled, and they fell from the stands. Fortunately, the use of the singular makes English a more effective language and helps us avoid heavy sentence constructions. Most importantly, it allows you to avoid making assumptions about the gender of someone you don`t know. “You, Pron.” Merriam-Webster, 2020, However, since I started writing about this topic, many people have asked me how the subject-verb agreement works when the singular is a personal pronoun. “If I use the singular, should I use a singular? If I talk about Chris in a gender-neutral way, do I have to say they`re happy? After all, I`d say Chris is happy. In 1985, the Ontario government adopted a formal policy of using gender-neutral language in all official publications, including bills and regulations. Since then, all laws and regulations developed in Ontario have been established in a gender-neutral style. In 1988, Ontario began revising all existing general articles and regulations. Ontario`s statutory database has many examples showing the use of the singular “they” to refer to indefinite singular nouns. For example, _They. Do not use if the precursor is a distributive expression, like everyone, everyone, everyone, everyone, a lot of one.

We already have a singular pronoun that uses a plural verb: you are happy. Authors should use the singular “they” in two main cases: (a) if they refer to a generic person whose gender is unknown or not relevant to the context and (b) when they relate to a particular known person who uses “she” as pronouns. In short, no. Grammar moves and changes over time; For example, the clumsy him or you, which replaces a singular, is actually a fairly new introduction to the language.