'they' once more

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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'they' once more

Post by DmitryL » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:01 pm

Sorry for so many questions, unfortunately I have no chance to meet a native English speaker...
I always wondered is there any restrictions (may be slight) on using 'they' addressing an inanimated objects (although I don't realy know how I've got such an impression). Let's pretend I point on a bunch of firewood, is it OK to say 'They are wet' or may be it's not good and I should avoid this usage and say 'These are wet'?

Thank you for your help,


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Re: 'they' once more

Post by Joe » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:21 am

We use "they" for people AND objects in the plural.
(We use "it" for objects only - sometimes including animals - in the singular.)

However, your example is not good because firewood is uncountable and therefore singular.
It is wet. :ok:

There are some logs on the ground. They are wet. :ok:

Let's say you have been in the rain and you come home soaked. You want to take your clothes off because they are wet. :ok:

http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/pron ... rsonal.htm
http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/pron ... rative.htm