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How does one refer to the indef. pronoun Everybody in British English. Personally I think one should do so with a plural pronoun but I have heard that this would only be possible in very informal situations. Apparently the plural pronoun must be replaced by "his or her" (cf everybody must put his or her coat in the corner vs their coat).

I hear a lot of "gonna" these days, even by British people. Would it be correct to say that "gonna" is now entirely acceptable in British English? Can "going to" even be spelled "gonna" these days?
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The plural their has been used with everybody/everyone for centuries and I for one consider it perfectly acceptable: Everybody takes off their hats.

Gonna for going to is informal, slang, colloquial or nonstandard English - or whatever you prefer to call it. Anyway, it shouldn't be used in serious writing.

CB
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AnonymousHow does one refer to the indef. pronoun Everybody in British English. Personally I think one should do so with a plural pronoun but I have heard that this would only be possible in very informal situations. Apparently the plural pronoun must be replaced by "his or her" (cf everybody must put his or her coat in the corner vs their coat).
What you have heard is correct. The reason is that 'everybody' is a singular indefinite pronoun. This can be seen by the fact that it takes a singular verb:

'Is everybody here?' (NOT 'are everybody here?')

'Everybody has been questioned'. (NOT 'everybody have been questioned')

The same agreement applies to the possessive pronoun, so 'Everybody must put his or her coat...' is correct.

The use of the plural pronoun 'their' with the singular 'everybody' became increasingly popular about thirty or so years ago and was intended to avoid something called male pronoun bias. Previously, people just used the masculine form 'him' ('Everybody must put his coat...'), but this came to be felt as biased by the movement towards sexual equality.

Using the plural 'their' goes against the general practice of standard English, but using both third person pronouns ('everybody must put his or her coat..') is generally felt to be awkward; consequently, 'their' is pretty much standard nowadays in both formal and informal usage.

BillJ