Singular they is the use of the 3rd person plural pronoun set in the singular, to refer to a single person, in contrast both to its original plural they usage and to generic they usage. "They" has common gender to cover the possibility that the person's grammatical gender may be either masculine or feminine. In this case the person's natural gender may be unclear, non-binary or unimportant.
- Subject pronoun: they
- object pronoun: them
- dependent possessive determiner: their
- independent possessive determiner: them
- reflexive pronoun: themself or themselves
Some conservative prescriptive style guides proscribe this usage, especially from formal writing and often propose use of common he instead. Other alternatives include he/she or he or she. Descriptivist linguists however accept that this is commonly used. It was Word of the year in 2015 and added to Merriam Webster dictionary in 2019