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Tish Davidson
03-29-2006, 08:47 AM
Can someone please explain the rules of agreement for anyone, everyone, everybody and no one?

"Is anyone going to give up his seat to this old lady"?
His sounds right to me because anyone refers to a single person giving up a single seat.

But
"Anyone who has not yet paid must give [his or their?] money to the teacher by Friday."
His sounds wrong to me here, because more than one student may not have paid. My ear says “Anyone who has not yet paid must give their money to the teacher by Friday.”

Everyone will have his turn at the water fountain.
His sounds fine to me because people are proceeding one by one to get a drink of water.
on the other hand, Everyone must have a permission slip signed by their parent. Here "their" sounds right to me, because "everyone" is inclusive of the entire group.

Do you say
Everybody should put on their coats.

Everybody should put on their coat.

Everybody should put on his coat.

And do you say
No one should put on his gloves
or
No one should put on their gloves

reph
03-29-2006, 09:16 AM
If it ends in "one" or "body," it's singular. These words were once two words each: every one, any body, no body. Everyone should put on his coat. Every student must have a permission slip signed by her parents. Someone left his or her wallet in the dressing room. (Smoother read: "left a wallet...") No one [still two words after all these years] raised his or her hand.

If it's "each" something, it's also singular. Each winner will receive his or her prize after the ceremony.

Some writers and editors disagree and defend "their," which has a long history of use with singular antecedents.

Tish Davidson
03-29-2006, 08:57 PM
What about Every?

Every winner will receive his prize?

reph
03-29-2006, 10:51 PM
Yes. Every WINNER will receive HIS prize. The antecedent, "winner," is singular. Winner receives his prize. Winners receive their prizes.

"Every" is just an adjective. Don't let it distract you from what the antecedent is. A lucky winner...his prize. The first winner...his prize. Every winner...his prize.

rekirts
03-30-2006, 07:45 PM
No one [still two words after all these years] raised his or her hand.
I wish more people realized that. Every time I see noone (and it seems to happen often) it gives me a what the...??? moment.