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Thread: What pronoun to use when referring to USA

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    What pronoun to use when referring to USA

    I'm currently using 'it' when referring to USA but I use 'они' (they) in Russian when doing the same. After all, I think it's more correct to use 'they' since they are United States.
    I've got confused about that only recently.
    So when I say USA do I use 'it' (since I am referring to a single country) or they (because there are many states in USA)?

    Also, do I say "USA does smth." or "USA do smth."?
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    Re: What pronoun to use when reffering to USA

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    I'm currently using 'it' when referring to USA but I use 'они' (they) in Russian when doing the same. After all, I think it's more correct to use 'they' since they are United States.
    I've got confused about that only recently.
    So when I say USA do I use 'it' (since I am referring to a single country) or they (because there are many states in USA)?

    Also, do I say "USA does smth." or "USA do smth."?
    Use USA in the singular... not plural... don't use они, unless you're talking about the 'people', or referring specifically to a group of States.

    In the U.S. we use U.S.A. as singular in sentences. It's not technically correct grammar... but it is traditional and normal.

    U.S.A. (or U.S.) = 'It'... The U.S.A. (usually referring to the Federal government, i.e. Bush and the Congress... 'One Nation')

    The citizens of the U.S.A. = 'they'
    A group of States = 'they'

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    @Dobry

    Are there actually any differences regarding that between U.S. english and G.B. english?
    As far as I remember, when talking about f.e. music bands or companies, one country's language uses singular while the other uses plural. E.g.:
    "Microsoft said that they would sell all of their.." vs. "Microsoft said that it would sell all of its..".
    Don't know who uses what, though.

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    Завсегдатай kalinka_vinnie's Avatar
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    The U.S. is one identity. It is a unification of states. "The US will not back down from its Iraq policy" e.g.
    "The US declared war on its arch-enemy: North Korea"
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    I recall someone in another topic said that in Britain they use "they"+"USA". Is that right?

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    You could say: "In the U.S., they eat hamburgers", but you refer to the people not the country...
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

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    There is more than one state, but it is one country, so I'd use "it", i.e. "The US said it will...blahblahblah" not "The US said they will...blahblah"

    By the way, you spelled referring wrong

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    Quote Originally Posted by RusskiSlav
    By the way, you spelled referring wrong
    who did?
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
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    It's now politically incorrect, but you'll also see "she/her" used as well (just like ships). EG:
    "The United States must protect her borders. She will do all that she can to defeat the terrorists."
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    "She" will only become politically incorrect if people stop using it. That's why I make a point to use it! Besides, it sounds nice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RusskiSlav
    "The US said it will...blahblahblah" not "The US said they will...blahblah"
    (Offtopic)
    Why did you write "The US said they will"? I was taught that it must be "The US said they would"
    Is it just a typo ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuvak
    Quote Originally Posted by RusskiSlav
    "The US said it will...blahblahblah" not "The US said they will...blahblah"
    (Offtopic)
    Why did you write "The US said they will"? I was taught that it must be "The US said they would"
    Is it just a typo ?
    You can use both depending on the context.

    The USA said it will destroy Iraq. - It is certain, they ARE going to.
    The USA said it would destroy Iraq. - They might, could... they would destroy it if... or it could be referring to the past ie "the USA said it would destroy Iraq but they decided not to"

    By the way, I think "the USA said they would" is not incorrect. I hear that quite a bit... It's the same when referring to companies etc "Telecom said they would...."

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    Quote Originally Posted by RusskiSlav
    By the way, you spelled referring wrong
    who did?
    Me in the topic name
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    awb
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    just cause someone says "The United States said they would..." doesn't mean it's right. everyone makes this mistake all the time, and not just in English. but proper grammar calls for "The United States said it would..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by awb
    just cause someone says "The United States said they would..." doesn't mean it's right. everyone makes this mistake all the time, and not just in English. but proper grammar calls for "The United States said it would..."
    Sshhh... don't say that to charlestonian, he'll give you google hit results and claim that if google says it, it must be correct.
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

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    awb
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    sure, it's quite fine colloquially. and that's what google is, a compilation of websites written by random people..

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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    Quote Originally Posted by awb
    just cause someone says "The United States said they would..." doesn't mean it's right. everyone makes this mistake all the time, and not just in English. but proper grammar calls for "The United States said it would..."
    Sshhh... don't say that to charlestonian, he'll give you google hit results and claim that if google says it, it must be correct.
    BUT IT IS TRUE! GOOGLE is ALWAYS right. Like, "Every two child did." That IS a sentence, grammar nazis! Google says so! 500+ people say so! :P
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=& ... tnG=Search
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RusskiSlav
    There is more than one state, but it is one country, so I'd use "it", i.e. "The US said it will...blahblahblah" not "The US said they will...blahblah"

    By the way, you spelled referring wrong
    I don't see any errors in "referring"....
    Well, I don't know what to say. I want to say thanks to the Academy, to Mama, to Papa and to my dog. I love you all.

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    Властелин charlestonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    Quote Originally Posted by awb
    just cause someone says "The United States said they would..." doesn't mean it's right. everyone makes this mistake all the time, and not just in English. but proper grammar calls for "The United States said it would..."
    Sshhh... don't say that to charlestonian, he'll give you google hit results and claim that if google says it, it must be correct.


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