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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



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pronoun they pronunciation in British English /ðeɪ/
They is used as the subject of a verb: They killed him.
In formal English they can also be used after the verb ‘to be’, especially before a relative clause: It is they who are telling lies.
  1. 1
    used for referring to a group of people or things that have already been mentioned or that are already known about

    I phoned her parents because I knew they were worried.

    It’s hard to choose. They’re all very nice.

    Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    used instead ofhe or she’, especially when you are referring back to a word such aseveryone’, ‘someone’, oranyone

    We should give everyone a chance to say what they think.

    Synonyms and related words
  3. 3
    used for referring to people in general
    they say/call/think etc:

    They used to call her ‘the Iron Lady’.

    Synonyms and related words
  4. 4
    used for referring to a government, an organization, or a group of people in authority

    They’re going to ban smoking in public places.

    Synonyms and related words
See also


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