It vs. Them in English Grammar

The Difference between 'It' and 'Them'

'It' and 'They' are both pronouns, but what is the difference between 'it' and 'they'? Here we will discuss the differences and similarities of the two.

It vs. Them

Main Similarity and Difference

'It' and 'them' are both personal pronouns in English. 'Them' is the object pronoun and 'it' can be both object and subject pronoun.

How to Choose between 'It' and 'Them'?

If you want to decide which one to use, always stick to one simple rule:

'It' refers to a singular noun and 'them' refers to a plural noun.

Referring to Plural or Singular Nouns

'It' and 'them' can both refer to living and non-living entities. But don't worry about this.
The choice between 'it' versus 'them' has nothing to do with living or non-living nouns. It is only a matter of plurality or singularity of nouns.

Come to think of it , the first restaurant was great . I loved them .

Come to think of it , the first restaurant was great . I loved it .

Plural-Only Nouns

For nouns that always appear in plural forms, but are actually one thing, for instance, pants, glasses, trousers, etc. do not use 'it'. You should use 'they'.

What a nice pair of shoes . I love them !

What a nice pair of shoes . I love it !

Using 'it' for these nouns is considered grammatically incorrect, however, you might hear a sentence like:

I bought a pair of shoes . It's gorgeous .

Uncountable and Collective Nouns

For uncountable and collective nouns, use 'it'. They might have a plural meaning and sense to them, but they are considered singular nouns.

I gave him the money and he took it without question .

So, keep this rule in mind, for all collective nouns, you must use 'it' not 'they'. Unless in a specific context that you want to refer to the people working at a company, army, etc.

Singular 'Them'

Nowadays, due to the new revolutionary awareness about gender, in modern English, if we want to refer to only one person, but we do not want to or don't know the gender, instead of using 'his/her' or 'his or her', we simply use 'them'.

Don't forget to consult your doctor . Call them now !

  • linkedin
  • linkedin
  • facebook
  • facebook
  • email

You might also like

She and I vs. She and Me

What is the difference between 'she and I' and 'she and me'? Can we use both options? Or none of them is correct? Let's find out!

Read more

What Is the Difference between 'It' and 'This'?

'It' and 'this' are both pronouns, but they are not synonymous. Here, we will discuss their similarities and differences.

Read more

How Do We Choose?

'It' and 'they' are both personal pronouns. If you want to know what are their uses and functions under different circumstances, don't waste another second!

Read more

How to Choose Between 'He' and 'They'

What should we choose when we do not want to be explicit about gender specificity? Well, in this lesson, you will learn about the new pronoun in English!

Read more

How to Choose Between 'She' and 'They'

In writing academically or speaking formally, it is important that you don’t distinguish between genders. Here we will learn how!

Read more

The Difference between 'She' and 'Her'

'She' and 'her' are both pronouns that are used to refer to nouns describing female persons and animals. To know their similarities and differences, click here!

Read more