View definitions for them


pronoun as in objective singular pronoun

pronoun as in objective plural pronoun

Strongest matches

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Example Sentences

The good story formula, though, requires a structural us-and-them divide.

The culture of conflict bred an us-against-them identity among the church members.

This didn't come naturally to them/us, who would much rather talk about health care as a right.

She continued her us-versus-them approach to political discourse.

All this contributes to a broader us-versus-them conflict over values.

The English kings had turned to the only people who could have helped them-the Normans settled in Ireland; and they failed them.

No sooner did he say the word than he and the Weasel found them-selves standing before the open door of a nice little house.

Shall the dead take thought for the dead to love them?What love was ever as deep as a grave?

After this the Kafirs gave Savage a second very long name which meant "He-who-sits-down-on-snakes-and-makes-them-flat."

The only additional suggestion is the new and original test, the so-called "em-them" test.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a synonym for them?

We don’t traditionally think of them as having synonyms, but there are several situations in which it can replace—or be replaced with—another word, phrase, or series of words.

Plural people and things

Them is perhaps most commonly used as a plural pronoun referring to multiple people, as in Seven people made reservations, and all of them showed up at the same time. It can also refer to multiple things, as in I didn’t want the packages to fall off the table, so I moved them. 

A singular person

Like its subject (nominative) form they, them also has a long history of being used to refer to an unspecified individual or to a person whose gender and other personal details are unknown or irrelevant, as in If a student is absent, they must bring in a note with them when they return to school. Sentences like this sometimes use constructions like he or she, but the use of they and them has become very common in such instances, with many people preferring this approach as less awkward and more inclusive.

Nonbinary gender expression

A use of them that has become more widespread is as a personal pronoun, along with they and related forms, for those who identify as nonbinary or whose gender identity exists between or beyond the spectrum of strictly male or female. Grammatically, it’s used in the same way as the gender-specific terms like he and she, but it’s gender-neutral. You can learn more about this below.


In some cases, the word themselves is used as another way of saying them or another form of it. It’s sometimes used in place of them after the words as, than, and but, as in They saw girls no older than themselves. It can also be used as an emphatic form of they or them, as in They—the students themselves—wrote the lesson. Singular forms include themself or theirself.

What does it mean to use they/them pronouns?

When someone requests to be referred to with they/them pronouns, it means they don’t use the pronouns typically associated with male and female gender identities, like he/him and she/her. Such people may identify as nonbinary or in a number of other ways. Other forms of they are often used along with singular, nonbinary they and them, such as their and themself.

How to use they/them pronouns 

Grammatically speaking, when they is used as a singular pronoun, it still takes a plural verb—are or were, as in They are my favorite person or Any employee who missed the training while they were on vacation still needs to complete it. We do the same thing when we use the singular you with are or were.

Interpersonally speaking, the right way to use they/them pronouns is the way that the person you’re referring to prefers them to be used. In some cases, people use other gender-neutral pronouns, such as ze.

Some people whose gender identity is fluid or encompasses multiple genders may use a mix of pronouns, such as she/they or they/he, among others.

What kind of pronoun is them?

Them is a personal pronoun. It can be either singular or plural.

Pronouns are used as substitutes for nouns—they’re another way of referring to a noun without using a specific name. Personal pronouns are used to refer to the one communicating, to the one being addressed, or the one being talked about.

In terms of its grammatical function, them is an objective pronoun, meaning that it’s generally used as the object of a sentence—the one on the receiving end of some action—as opposed to the subject (the one doing the action). The nominative (subject) form of them is they, as in They asked me to drive them home.

Them is categorized as a third person pronoun (like he, she, him, her, and they), meaning that it’s used to refer to anyone other than the person doing the addressing or the ones being addressed. In contrast, first person pronouns (like I and me) refer to the speaker or writer themselves. Second person pronouns (you and its other forms) address the person being spoken to or reading. In literature, third-person point of view is a common form of narration in which the events of the story are told using the third person.

On this page you'll find 21 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to them, such as: me, you, him, her, it, and ver.

From Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.