They is a third-person plural pronoun to refer to a group of people. However, it can be used as a singular pronoun. In this lesson, we will discuss when and how to use it.
'They' as a Subject Pronoun
They as a subject pronoun is mainly used to refer to a group of people. It is also generic or replaces indefinite pronouns. They is also used to refer to people whose sex is not identified. Take a look:
- They is a third-person plural pronoun used to refer to a group of people. For example:
She and her friends were there.
'They' refers to 'she and her friends.'
- They is a generic pronoun. We can use they to refer to a generic group of people, such as an authority or an institution. Take a look at the following examples:
'They' refers to the government.
- They is used to refer to indefinite pronouns like 'anyone, someone, etc.' Take a look at the following examples:
In this place, anyone can wear anything as long as
Someone will come and pick you up.
- Singular they is used when we want to refer to a person with unknown gender or a person who does not identify themselves as male or female. For example:
'We'll do anything to find the suspect.
The suspect's gender is unknown.
Alex loves to travel.
Alex is a non-binary person.
Whether it is the singular they or the plural they, always use plural verb forms.
- In archaic texts, they was used instead of 'those.' For example:
Position in a Sentence
They as a subject pronoun replaces the subject. For example:
She and her mother knew where to go.