DAILY GRAMMAR (DG) 08-09-2018

1a. Everyone is expected to mind everyone’s business in the city. (No)

Everyone is expected to mind his business in the city. (Yes but deemed sexist)

Everyone is expected to mind her business in the city. (Yes but deemed sexist)

Everyone is expected to mind his or her business in the city. (Yes but deemed awkward)

Everyone is expected to mind their business in the city. (Yes)

1b. Everybody knows the rule but everybody still violates it. (No)

Everybody knows the rule but they still violate it. (Yes)

1c. One should do his best and leave the rest in all situations. (No)

One should do her best and leave the rest in all situations. (No)

One should do their best in all situations and leave the rest. (No)

One should do one’s best in all situations and leave the rest. (Yes)

(Both “everyone” and “everybody” do not always attract singular pronouns. The appropriate number depends on the meaning of the sentence. Modern accepts these compound indefinites as having plural significance and they are therefore used with plural pronouns. The indefinite pronoun “one” agrees with “one” in a sentence.)

2a. Everyone in that political party now wants to be president. (No)

Every one in that political party now wants to be president. (Yes)

2b. Anyone of you can do the work meant for everybody. (No)

Any one of you can do the work meant for everybody. (Yes)

(Compound indefinites are formed by adding “body” or “thing” to indefinite pronouns; they are written solid, e.g., “everybody,” “anybody,” “something,” “anything,” “everything,” etc. When the compounds are formed by adding “one”, they are also written solid unless reference is made to each of many persons. Such compounds with “one” are written as two words if they are followed by a prepositional phrase.)

3a. Someone’s else opinion may not count if you are sure of your position. (No)

Someone else’s opinion may not count if you are sure of your position. (Yes)

3b. Nobody else’s analysis is more convincing than Tunde. (No)

Nobody else’s analysis is more convincing than Tunde’s. (Yes)

3c. None is ever succeeded in their efforts to incriminate the top politician. (No)

None have ever succeeded in their efforts to incriminate that top politician. (Yes)

3d. You have to explain why none of you have done the assignment. (No)

You have to explain why none of you has done the assignment. (Yes)

You have to explain why not one of you has finished the assignment. (Yes)

(When “else” follows a compound indefinite, the possessive is formed by adding an apostrophe and “s” to “else.” In comparative structures, the possessive form is indicated accordingly. “None” is usually considered plural in modern English except when it is equivalent to “no one” or “not one.” If the meaning is unambiguously singular, using “no one” or “not one” is preferred.)

Did You Know?

In 2018, approximately 1.53 billion people speak English as a primary, auxiliary or business language (with China alone having 250 million speakers). This is about 1 in 7 people on Earth.

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