Community Web Version Now Available
Which pronoun do I use to refer to the word ''person''? Take these sentence as an example: - The person has the righ to do what she/he wants. - - If the person wants to eat cookies, he/she can do it. - I think it sounds better using ''she'', but I'm not sure if it's correct. Sometimes I get confused about that.. Could anybody help me, please? Thanks everyone for the answers! =)
2012年2月4日 18:58
Answers · 5
This is a hard one. 'Person' is singular, so it should be 'he', 'she' or 'it' as the pronoun. However, which one? Some writers use 'he', but more recently it is 'he/she' or 'he or she'. It's too bad English doesn't have a combination singular gender. Some people use 'they', but that is wrong, since it is plural. Until somebody adds a new pronoun to English, I guess 'he/she' will have to do.
"S/he" is sometimes used as well. Personally, I quite often use "they". This is generally considered acceptable, but it throws up the awkward question of whether to use "themselves" (which sounds extremely odd when referring to just one person) or "themself" (which just looks wrong).
All of the above answers are fine. I am one of those to whom fdmaxey refers; I use "they". While "they" is plural, it is now commonly accepted to use when you have an undefined person being referred to, such as in your sentence. In the end, the real answer is, do what you feel most comfortable with. This is an example of language taking a long time to catch up with culture. In the old days, men were deemed "more important" and they made the rules of language. As such, all situations which required an indefinite pronoun used "he" or "him" as appropriate. Today, our culture recognizes that the old rules were wrong, but our language has not created a widely accepted, non-gender pronoun. He, she, he/she, she/he, s/he, he or she, she or he, or they are all individual answers to this issue. Use what you feel good using!
If the person is male ---> He If the person is female --> She
I'd like to say, thanks a lot guys, for the answers and explanations. All of them helped me making this clear! Thank you! =)
Language Skills
English, Other
Learning Language