The singular pronoun “they” (and associated pronouns “them” and “their”) is appropriate and grammatically correct for use in spoken and written language.

Scroll down for info on why it’s important, why it’s grammatically correct, and for a collection of resources for further reading.



The most important reason to use “they” / “them” to refer to someone who chooses those pronouns is simple: respect. Many non-binary, genderqueer, and transgender people feel that “they” / “them” are the best pronouns to reflect their existence outside of the gender binary. When talking or writing about someone, it is a basic courtesy to refer to them in the way they choose. For example, if someone told you their name was “Steve,” wouldn’t you use that name even if you didn’t like the name “Steve”? Even if in your mind you thought they looked more like a “Marty”?


Is the singular “they” grammatically correct?

A common objection to the use of “they” / “them” as a singular pronoun is that people often mistakenly think it is “grammatically incorrect”. What is grammatically “correct” or “incorrect” is never a cut-and-dry issue. Let’s look at it from two perspectives.

The singular “they” is extremely common in everyday usage

Imagine you’re cleaning up after a party, and you notice an umbrella that someone forgot, but you’re not sure who it belongs to. You might say: “Someone forgot their umbrella. I hope they don’t get soaked on their way home. I’ll hold on to it for them.”

Language is an evolving set of sounds and symbols

Even if the singular “they” was a neologism [NB it’s not, see usage], English has gone through countless adjustments through its history, and will continue to undergo these adjustments for the rest of its existence. Style guides, dictionaries, and usage guides are under constant revision to keep up with the changes in the language. Here are several authorities on language, grammar, and usage that acknowledge the singular “they” as appropriate in the right circumstances:


In addition to the language authorities above, the singular “they” has been used by authors for a long time.


This page is intended to be a resource that transgender and non-binary people can direct people to, instead of engaging in “debate”. In cases of a knowledge and power imbalance, the disenfranchised person is almost always asked to be the one to supply the labor of educating and coddling the other. Instead of taking the time away from more interesting or fulfilling activities, a trans person may instead direct someone to this page.

Unfortunately, the person who made this page feels they have to remain anonymous. Transgender people who speak out online are often the targets of extreme harassment and threats of violence. However, they are open to suggestions, additions, or edits provided in good faith to

Those who disagree with the premise of this site are strongly encouraged to publish their own site and share freely.