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Zhan
"they" instead of "he/she" Hello there!

Could anyone possibly explain me why do people speakung in English call other person (singular)"they"? 

Has it always been like that? If not why it's started? 
Could you give me some examples /different situations/ exceptions (maybe?)

Thank you in advance
Apr 5, 2019 5:35 PM
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Comments · 5

It is just easier to write "they" than "he/she"

"I don't know whose luggage this is, but they really should not leave it unattended" is easier than "I don't know whose luggage this is, but he/she should not leave it unattended"

April 5, 2019
It typically occurs with an unspecified person (person you don't know a gender of). 
Example:
Somebody lost their luggage. Should they wait a bit longer or go to the "lost and found" department?
The worker should be told how much they will be paid.

I hope this helps. :)
April 5, 2019
Singular subject – plural pronoun

They is the third person plural pronoun, referring to more than one person, so using the plural pronoun “they or their” to refer to or replace a singular subject or person may seem incorrect, but it’s not incorrect. 

They has been used for thousands of years as a term to describe human beings when gender is unknown.
It has even been used to refer to just one person, regardless of gender.
And, it’s a great substitute for it when referring to a person. 

Grammarians do not all agree on whether the use of the singular they is correct or incorrect.

English speakers have always wanted to have a pronoun that meant "he or she" but the only way we could express that unknown gender, single person was to write or say "he or she" or "he/she" or "h/she" and it is much easier to simply write or say "they" meaning "a single male or female".

April 5, 2019

The singular “they” to refer to an unknown person has existed for hundreds of years and is widely accepted. It is best to avoid it in formal writing, just to be safe, because there are some people who don’t approve of it and might judge your writing negatively. But otherwise it’s perfectly fine to use.

See here: https://www.dictionary.com/e/they-is-a-singular-pronoun/

April 5, 2019
Cause it's about personS, when there are a lot of them (more than 1 person)
Like "look! It's monkeyS over there, THEY are really funny.
April 5, 2019
Zhan
Language Skills
English, Russian
Learning Language
English