English Grammar


Plurals

1. Plural of surnames.


I read in an American newspaper about Bill and Hillary Clinton: “ the Clintons”


Do surnames or names of persons take an s in the plural as common names do?
Is it a general rule or an American habit or is it left to the writer’s discretion?


2. Plural of relative clauses dependent on indefinite pronoun or a collective name…


If SOMEONE has always dreamt of having anything, then THEY HAVE always desired to have a house.
ANYONE who is capable of getting THEMSELVES made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. (Kurt Vonnegut)
May I say: anyone who is capable of getting oneself made president should.... ?


To put one’s hands in one’s pockets.
I assume I may not say: to put one’s hands in their pockets.


Which are the rules?


If someone (Jean-Pierre? Silky ? anyone else knowing) could set me straight about that, I’d thank THEM in advance. (Is it necessary “them” here? suppose only one of them responds.)

10 comments

  • Homer Simpson, Marge Simpson and Bart Simpson, are members of the Simpson family.
    Homer, Marge and Bart are first names. Simpson is their last name.
    They are the Simpsons.
    The Simpsons is a well-known American TV series.
    This series is available on DVD.
    The Simpsons are funny.
  • I love The Simpsons !! Yeah!


    Willy (The Security Guard of the Delavigne Corp.)
  • Now to your second question Gee!


    1. Someone/somebody;anyone/anybody;everybody/everyone are singular BUT they/them/their is often used after them.
    EX.- If anyone wants to leave early, they can.
    -Someone has spilt their (=his or her)coffee on the table.
    -Everyone was enjoying themselves.
    -Everybody stay (no "S" as it is the subjunctive!) where they are= Que personne ne
    bouge!
    2. To put one's hands in one's pocket is the only possible solution except if you put YOUR hand in someone else's pocket... for a reason left to your vivid imagination!


    We also say: one never knows, does one?


    3. As for your last sentence: if someone...I'd thank THEM in advance. THEM ,of course, as you are on the Gymglish Forum and there is always more than one person who is willing to help...
  • From Jean Pierre:
    Homer Simpson, Marge Simpson and Bart Simpson, are members of the Simpson family.
    Homer, Marge and Bart are first names. Simpson is their last name.
    They are the Simpsons.
    The Simpsons is a well-known American TV series.
    This series is available on DVD.
    The Simpsons are funny.

     


    I went and cast an eye over the Springfield community.
    It’s bliss, especially for the hillbilly from the backwater I’m.
    You did a good deed, Jean-Pierre.


    From now on I'll say : Mr. Fox love chickens. Mrs. Fox loves chickens.
    Mr. & Mrs. Foxes love chicken.
    The Foxes love chicken.
    Bon appétit!
    You're welcome!
    Thank you so much.
  • From Silky:
    Now to your second question Gee!


    1. Someone/somebody;anyone/anybody;everybody/everyone are singular BUT they/them/their is often used after them.
    EX.- If anyone wants to leave early, they can.
    -Someone has spilt their (=his or her)coffee on the table.
    -Everyone was enjoying themselves.
    -Everybody stay (no "S" as it is the subjunctive!) where they are= Que personne ne
    bouge!
    2. To put one's hands in one's pocket is the only possible solution except if you put YOUR hand in someone else's pocket... for a reason left to your vivid imagination!


    We also say: one never knows, does one?


    3. As for your last sentence: if someone...I'd thank THEM in advance. THEM ,of course, as you are on the Gymglish Forum and there is always more than one person who is willing to help...

     


    It’s always so sweet to get your gentle help, Silky.
    But do you think that this rule is prevailing everywhere?
    Jack Lynch (http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/) wrote this:
    Every requires a singular verb and singular pronouns. Do not write "Every one of the papers have been graded"; use "Every one of the papers has been graded" or (better) "Every paper has been graded." Ditto everyone: "Everyone must sign his or her name," not "their name."


    Entre les deux mon cœur ne balança pas. I made my choice. I voted for Silky.
    From now on I'll say: Everyone may talk as it suit them.
    However I won't lynch the bloody grammarians.
  • Mr and Mrs Fox :
    no plural, just imagine their address on their mailbox!


    For the change, if I can help, it's my pleasure!
  • When Jack Lynch wrote the sentence you mention, he was right; it was the only possible solution I think because "every paper"= each paper =one at a time.
    Everyone must sign his or her name because again it is considered as an individual action, knowing that there are ladies and gentlemen in the group.
    As you will notice, I wrote "often" in my answer as rules are never set or definite in English.


    As for me, mon coeur balance: English grammar is bloody difficult OR don't worry too much: anyway, people will understand you. Let's not forget that the British or the Americans have nothing like "L'académie française". Hopefully, they are far more flexible than we are!


    Anyway, it's always pleasant to chat with you...
  • From Jean Pierre:
    Mr and Mrs Fox :
    no plural, just imagine their address on their mailbox!


    For the change, if I can help, it's my pleasure!

     
    I thought so but I wanted to be sure.
    Thank you for your time.
  • From Silky:
    When Jack Lynch wrote the sentence you mention, he was right; it was the only possible solution I think because "every paper"= each paper =one at a time.
    Everyone must sign his or her name because again it is considered as an individual action, knowing that there are ladies and gentlemen in the group.
    As you will notice, I wrote "often" in my answer as rules are never set or definite in English.


    As for me, mon coeur balance: English grammar is bloody difficult OR don't worry too much: anyway, people will understand you. Let's not forget that the British or the Americans have nothing like "L'académie française". Hopefully, they are far more flexible than we are!


    Anyway, it's always pleasant to chat with you...

     


    I had to catch that you are always - i.e. not simply often - precise in your writings.
    I'll always remember that rules are never set or definite in English. I've just become aware of the fact that English is the language of liberty, even though it's a French revolution that freed people, freed them from aristocratic and religious tyranny. They changed the calendar but forgot to remove the Académie.
    Thank you for your teaching and for your time.

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