Somebody <has> come / Nobody <was> there

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shop-englishx

Banned
Urdu
Hi, natives!

A student to his teacher:

"Someone has come to pick me up from the school, he is waiting for me outside, may I go?"

Similarly,

"Be with someone who feels proud to have you with him"
"Nobody was there in the school when I reached there"

Is the use of "has", "he", "feels", "was" and "him" correct here in the sentences given above?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Someone and nobody take singular verbs. You cannot say Someone/Somebody are?? waiting for me.

    If you are talking about a male person, he and him are fine. Otherwise, if you don't know whether they are male or female, you should use they and them.

    (Note that your first sentence is really three sentences.)
     

    shop-englishx

    Banned
    Urdu
    "Someone" or "nobody" don't specify the gender--which is why they are called "indefinite pronouns. So, why not to use plural verbs for them?

    e.g,

    Someone have come to pick me from the school, they are waiting for me.
    Nobody were there in the school.
    Somebody have stolen my cell phone. etc...
     
    Last edited:

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    But we don't use the plural.

    Nobody knows why he did this.
    Somebody/Someone is going to travel to Mars in the future
    .

    Although these pronouns take the singular and do not specify the gender, this is how we use them.
    When we say that nobody knows, we include everyone in this. Everyone (or everybody) has a plural meaning but is still used with a singular verb.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    Because:

    Nobody is = No body is
    Somebody is = Some body is
    Everybody is = Every body is
    Everyone is = Every one is
    Someone is = Some one is

    Body and one take singular verbs.
     

    shop-englishx

    Banned
    Urdu
    Here are some citations from the OED:

    a1382 Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Bodl. 959) (1965) Ecclus. xxxviii. 35 Eche on in þer craft ys wijs.
    a1642 H. Best Farming & Memorandum Bks. (1984) 132 Holes of that bignesse that one may thrust in theire neafe.
    1898 G. B. Shaw Candida in Plays Pleasant & Unpleasant 86 It's enough to drive anyone out of their senses.
    2006 Blueprint July 90/1 Anyone who promotes their work as timeless is likely to be churning out the design equivalent of pan-pipe music.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Those citations reflect what people have told you in this thread, shop-englishx: that we use singular verbs with someone, anyone etc, but we can, and often do, use the pronoun they and the possessive their.
     

    shop-englishx

    Banned
    Urdu
    This is confusing, Loob.

    If I say; "Someone has come to my home and they lost their keys". :confused:

    Will not it be strange?

    Or If you look at the example; "Anyone who promotes their work..." :confused: It should have been like this: ""Anyone who promotes his/her work..."

    Could you explain it a bit to me why it is so? Is there any rule to use "they/their" that way?

    SE.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hello again, SE. What's happening here is that we're using they as a gender-neutral pronoun. If you look at panjandrum's list of frequently-raised topics (click), you'll see that this usage is amongst them. If you search on gender neutral pronouns, you'll find lots of previous threads:).
     
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