They meaning

thā
Frequency:
Used to refer to the ones previously mentioned or implied.
pronoun
10
7
(the third-person singular, disputed) A single person, previously mentioned, but of unknown or irrelevant gender. [since the 1400s]
pronoun
6
5
The person or group just mentioned.

Everyone thinks they are right about this issue.

pronoun
4
2
They is a general reference to people, or to people who were previously mentioned.

An example of they is someone saying that a group of people are standing at a bus stop, "They are standing at the bus stop."

pronoun
4
6
(usage problem) Used to refer to the one previously mentioned or implied, especially as a substitute for generic he .

Every person has rights under the law, but they don't always know them.

pronoun
3
3
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(indefinite pronoun, vague meaning) People; some people; someone, excluding the speaker.

They say it's a good place to live.

They didn't have computers in the old days.

They should do something about this.

They have a lot of snow in winter.

pronoun
2
0
(archaic or dialectal) Those (used for people)
determiner
1
0
The persons, animals, or things previously mentioned.
pronoun
1
1
People.

They say it's so.

pronoun
1
1
(the third-person plural) A group of people or objects previously mentioned.

Fred and Jane? They just arrived.

I have a car and a truck, but they are both broken."

pronoun
0
0
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Origin of they

  • Middle English from Old Norse their masculine pl. demonstrative and personal pron. to- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Cognate to Old English þā (“those") (whence Modern English tho), Scots thae, thai, thay (“they; those"), Icelandic þeir (“they"), Faroese teir (“they"), Swedish de (“they"), Danish de (“they"), Norwegian de (“they"), Norwegian Nynorsk dei (“they"), and German die (“the; those", plural article and pronoun). See also tho.

    From Wiktionary

  • The term was borrowed by Middle English (as they, thei) in the 1200s from Old Norse þeir, the nominative plural masculine of the demonstrative sá, which acted in Old Norse as a plural pronoun. The Norse term derives from Proto-Germanic *þai (“those"), from Proto-Indo-European *to- (“that"). It gradually replaced Old English hÄ« and hÄ«e (“they").

    From Wiktionary

  • The term has been used as a singular pronoun since at least the 1400s.

    From Wiktionary