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27 Dec 2015 —  "Singular they"


How would you change this, or would you?


Students in class

Everyone knows that he must keep up with his assignments.


Select each option to read the feedback.



Everyone knows that he must keep up with his assignments.


Change he to he or she and his to his or her.

Everyone knows that he or she must keep up with his or her assignments.


Everyone knows that they must keep up with their assignments.



Singular "they" is the use in English of the pronoun they, or its inflected or derivative forms, such as them, their, or themselves, as a "pronoun that is neutral between masculine and feminine", to refer to a single person or an antecedent that is grammatically singular. ("Singular They" – Wikipedia)

wordy (Adj) – having too many words, more words than necessary to express a particular meaning or idea.


Curzan, Anna. "Witnessing a Rule Change: Singular 'They'." Lingua Franca Blogs. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 16 Dec 2015. Accessed 26 Dec 2015.

See Grammar Notes in Gender & Pronouns for other resources.


Student in class by Albert Herring of Tulane Public Relations by CC BY-NC 2.0. Accessed 26 Dec 2015.