English version


From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishtheythey /ðeɪ/ ●●● S1 W1 pronoun [used as the subject of a verb]  1 PERSON/PEOPLEused to refer to two or more people or things that have already been mentioned or are already known about Bob and Sue said they wouldn’t be able to come. Ken gave me some flowers. Aren’t they beautiful? They all want to come to the wedding.2 they say/think etc3 spokenGOVERENMENT used to refer to a particular organization or group of people Where are they going to build the new highway? They’re going to take an X-ray.4 PERSON/PEOPLEused when talking about someone who may be male or female, to avoid saying ‘he or she’ If anyone has any information related to the crime, will they please contact the police. Every child, whoever they are, deserves to have a mum and a dad.USAGE: They, them, their If you want to talk in general about someone, and you do not want to say if the person is male or female, you often use they, them, or their: If anyone doesn’t like it, they can leave.When a friend upsets you, do you tell them?Someone has left their coat behind.People do this in order to avoid suggesting that the person can only be male, or to avoid using longer expressions such as 'he or she', 'him or her'.This use is acceptable and very common in spoken English, and is becoming more acceptable in writing as well.However, some people consider this use to be incorrect. You can sometimes avoid the problem by making the subject plural: If people don’t like it, they can leave.When friends upset you, do you tell them?In the past, people used to use 'he' to refer to men or women, but most people now avoid doing this.
Examples from the Corpus
theyYou can tell if someone is really interested in buying a car by the questions they ask."Naranjas" is what they call oranges in Spain.They sell the best coffee in town.Sara and Michael said they won't be able to come.