Everybody's efforts -or- Everybody's effort

Nucleara

Senior Member
As far as I know, "everybody" is used with the verbs as singular nouns do, but with the sense of many people as it could be replaced by "they".

I'm not sure about this:

→I appreciate everybody's efforts.
or

→I appreciate everybody's effort.


Thanks a lot:D
Nucleara.


 
  • Spira

    Banned
    UK English
    To speak precisely, it depends whether each person had made one effort, or several efforts.

    However, the plural is frequently used when only one effort has been produced. Very common, but probably grammatically incorrect.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    As far as I know, "everybody" is used with the verbs as singular nouns do, but with the sense of many people as it could be replaced by "they".

    I'm not sure about this:

    →I appreciate everybody's efforts.
    or

    →I appreciate everybody's effort.


    Thanks a lot:D
    Nucleara.
    In English, unlike many other languages, when we speak of several people each of whom only has one of something, we use the plural, not the singular.

    A teacher will say to a group of students Take out your books, even where each student has only one book to take out.

    To an individual he could say Take out your books, meaning that the student had more than one book, or Take out your book, meaning that the student has only one book.

    Thus we cannot tell, from the grammar, whether, when speaking to a group, each member has only one, or more than one of what we are talking about.

    Everybody is, however, singular, which is something people don't usually forget when conjugating verbs, but sometimes forget when dealing with nouns.

    I want everybody to take out his book is correct, but

    I want everybody to take out their books is often said, even when each person has only one book.

    This effectively means, I think, that both

    I appreciate everybody's efforts, and.

    I appreciate everybody's effort are often said, and both are correct.

    As to the difference between them, imagine this being said to an individual:

    I appreciate your efforts is much the same as

    I appreciate your effort, except that the first is more often said in circumstances where the efforts have been unsuccessful.

    I'm not sure that the formula works in the same way for everybody as for an individual. In my view

    I appreciate everybody's efforts suggests that the efforts have been less corporate, less concerted, and, maybe, more disparate than is the case with

    I appreciate everybody's effort, which has a stronger communal feel.
     
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