How to fix sentence

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In the sentence, "Everyone stared above them, hoping upon hope," it sounds as though "them" is not the right word to use. Would it be better to use something like "Each person stared above themselves..."?

See example:

Everyone stared above them, hoping upon hope.
asked Jun 14 '13 at 16:58 Jon Uhler New member

2 answers


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Jon, great question.  The best solution is to use the verb stare as it is intended, as an intransitive verb (with no object...but often naturally followed by a preposition with its own object): Everyone stared at the sky, for example.

link comment answered Jun 14 '13 at 17:33 Shawn Mooney Expert
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I'll second Shawn's excellent solution.

 

The reason your sentence "feels" wrong is "everyone" is singular while "them" is plural. Shawn's solution removes the contradiction and uses the verb properly.

link comment answered Jun 14 '13 at 22:46 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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