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before; at an earlier time; in the past; antecedently
abreast
particularly
beyond
previously
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a person himself/herself/them... OR what?



 
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a person himself/herself/them... OR what? #1 (permalink) Tue Mar 22, 2011 18:14 pm   a person himself/herself/them... OR what?
 

Hello!
My question is fully shown in the subject line: I'd like to be correct when writing something like ... a person him-her-them- self/-ves, well, what should it be?!
Please, be kind to clear it up.
Thank you.
Abeille
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a person himself/herself/them... OR what? #2 (permalink) Tue Mar 22, 2011 19:22 pm   a person himself/herself/them... OR what?
 

Hello,

It depends on the circumstances.

If you are definitely writing about a male, then use him. The
if you are definitely writing about the female, then use her.
If you are writing about a single person, then use self.
If you are writing about more than one person, then use themselves.

The only problem occurs when you are writing about a single person and it's unclear whether it is a male or a female. Nowadays, it is possible to use a singular 'themselves'.
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a person himself/herself/them... OR what? #3 (permalink) Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:12 pm   a person himself/herself/them... OR what?
 

Thanks for your reply, Beeesneees.

So it would be correct when I say 'a person themselves' whoever they are and no matter how Singular 'that person' (I mean the word) is, right?
Abeille
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a person himself/herself/them... OR what? #4 (permalink) Thu Mar 24, 2011 18:28 pm   a person himself/herself/them... OR what?
 

As a general ruule yes, but I'd have to see the context to say for certain that it was absolutely right in that situation.
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a person himself/herself/them... OR what? #5 (permalink) Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:41 am   a person himself/herself/them... OR what?
 

Yes, context would do best. I haven't my own examples but would love to see some from forum members to make a kind of map for this very use of 'a person self'. It is still a tricky point.
Abeille
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Posts: 70
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

a person himself/herself/them... OR what? #6 (permalink) Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:44 am   a person himself/herself/them... OR what?
 

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Hi Abeille,

The trouble is that when we are not sure about the gender of the noun, we are stuck with this awful himself/herself/he/she construction. You get sentences like: When a child first goes to school, he/she has to get used to being with other children. I personally prefer to say: they have to get used to .. Grammarians of a certain school then start jumping up and down and say: You can't mix 'a child' (singular) with 'they' (plural). Well I do, to avoid the construction above. It therefore follows, to be consistent, that you would say: a person themselves - and that would probably give our grammarian fraternity a heart attack. I must admit that it does sound weird. The answer would seem to suggest that we say instead: A person on their own would ...

This would seem to be a solution to your problem, I hope.

Alan
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a person himself/herself/them... OR what? #7 (permalink) Fri Mar 25, 2011 13:32 pm   a person himself/herself/them... OR what?
 

Thank you, Alan. I'm quite satisfied with the 'a person on their own' variant. It sounds 'politically correct', so to say, for both people and grammarians :)
Abeille
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Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

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