Is “Everyone” Singular or Plural?

crowd of people on a beach

Photo by Micaela Parente on Unsplash

When considering the word everyone, it makes sense to think of many people in a group. The natural conclusion then is to believe everyone is plural. It’s not. Everyone is singular.

One way to think about it is that everyone refers to each individual in a group.

Take this example:

Everyone who is attending the Ice Creams of the World festival likes ice cream.

It would be odd for a person who loathes ice cream to go to a festival celebrating that dessert, so it’s safe to say each individual person in that group enjoys it.

Because everyone is singular, it takes a singular verb. Look again at our example sentence above. The verb in it is “likes,” which is singular and would be used with singular pronouns, such as “he” and “she.”

Here are more examples:

Everyone dances uniformly in ballet class.
Everyone under five eats free.
Everyone needs to file the form in triplicate.

Each sentence has a singular verb because everyone is a singular pronoun.

Erin Servais is a book editor with ten years of experience in publishing. Contact her to learn how she can help you with your next project: www.dotanddashllc.com

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2 thoughts on “Is “Everyone” Singular or Plural?

  1. Hi Erin

    Do some people really think “everyone” would be followed by “are”? I can’t say that’s a mistake I’ve ever seen as a copywriter or editor. “Everyone are coming to my party tonight?” Sorry, don’t think that’s a common one! (Nor is “everything are…”)

    But what you might want to blog about along similar lines, though, is “none” followed by “is” rather than “are”. I know you’ll know the reason, so I’ll leave you to explain it to the uninitiated.

    All the best
    Ashley

  2. Hi Erin

    Do some people really think “everyone” would be followed by “are”? I can’t say that’s a mistake I’ve ever seen as a copywriter or editor. “Everyone are coming to my party tonight?” Sorry, don’t think that’s a common one! (Nor is “everything are…”)

    But what you might want to blog about along similar lines, though, is “none” followed by “is” rather than “are”. I know you’ll know the reason, so I’ll leave you to explain it to the uninitiated.

    All the best
    Ashley

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