Singular They: Is or Are

'Singular they' is a relatively new personal pronoun that has been introduced in modern English. It's singular, but are we suppose to use singular verbs or not?

"Singular They": Is or Are

We use singular 'they' in two ways:

  1. when we want to refer to a person whose gender is unknown or irrelevant;
  2. when we want to refer to a person who doesn't (want to) identify as either male or female.

When you use 'they' as the subject, whether you use it as a 'singular they' or 'plural they', ALWAYS use a plural verb.

Everybody is entitled to their opinion. They are free to choose.

Kathrin is a non-binary person. They are a student, and live in Atlanta.

Though we are talking about one person, but we are using the singular 'they'. Therefore, we use the plural verb 'are' not 'is'.


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