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Hallowe'en Scene 2 Language Focus

This time, the subject (and the object!) is pronouns.

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Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

Hi

I would like to know which of the following is correct.

1.No singer in John's school is more accomplished than John.
2.No singer in John's school is more accomplished than him.

Thank you.

Hello Leen

1 is less ambiguous than 2, since 'him' could refer to a different person, but they are both grammatically correct.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,
Please I need clarification on the use of "they" as a singular. Is it considered standard British English to use it as singular? For example, "Tell anyone that calls the landline, they should reach me on my cell"

Hi Justina,

Yes, it is perfectly fine to use 'they' as a genderless singular form and your example is correct.

This use of 'they' is quite old. You can find examples in Shakespeare, for instance:

There's not a man I meet but doth salute me

As if I were their well-acquainted friend

 

A Comedy of Errors, Act IV, Scene 3

 

It is certainly not a modern imposition on the language, as is sometimes argued.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team