Pronouns. It.
Thread poster: Alena Burmagina

Alena Burmagina
Russian Federation
Local time: 08:32
English to Russian
+ ...
May 4, 2012

Hello,

I would like to ask the following question:
How is the pronoun "it" used in the agreements and contracts?
For instance, what is the substitute pronoun in the purchase agreement for the terms "seller" and "buyer"?

I have some doubts.

Thank you in advance.


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:32
French to English
+ ...
"they" May 4, 2012

Alena Burmagina wrote:
I would like to ask the following question:
How is the pronoun "it" used in the agreements and contracts?
For instance, what is the substitute pronoun in the purchase agreement for the terms "seller" and "buyer"?


Even in legal contracts, "it" isn't usually used to refer to a person. (I've just added the "usually", because I'm sure somebody is now going to root out some counterexample. But it really isn't usual.)

There's no need for any akward legalese contortions in this case. Just use plain old "they", just as you would in everyday speech.

P.S. I've just seen Eureka's post. Yes, "it" may of course work to refer to a buyer/seller etc which is a single non-animate body. Though, you could still use "they".

Remember that depending on your language pair, you may also get cases where the source text uses a pronoun but where in English it's clearer to use a word such as "the Company" etc, because the original source text in effect specifies this by the gender of the pronoun but English cannot. I don't know how common this is in Russian, but in French contracts, for example, you can fairly frequently get a case where "elle" (feminine) unambiguously refers to one of the parties which is a company ("société", feminine), whereas putting "it" in English would be ambiguous because another entity is mentioned.

[Edited at 2012-05-04 15:20 GMT]


 

Eureka Yeung (X)
Local time: 13:32
English to Chinese
+ ...
it May 4, 2012

Dear friend,

Based on my professional involvement, the pronoun “it” shall be the mot juste if there is a clear contextual reference of the seller and / or the buyer as an entity other than an individual.

Best regards,

Eureka


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 13:32
Chinese to English
No pronouns May 5, 2012

Often contracts specifically avoid using pronouns to prevent any possible confusion:
*Party A shall pay Party B 50% of their costs
should be
Party A shall pay Party B 50% of Party B's costs

It can sound awkward, but it makes for clear contracts.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:32
Spanish to English
+ ...
When in doubt leave "it" out May 5, 2012

Phil Hand wrote:

Often contracts specifically avoid using pronouns to prevent any possible confusion:
*Party A shall pay Party B 50% of their costs
should be
Party A shall pay Party B 50% of Party B's costs

It can sound awkward, but it makes for clear contracts.


I agree wholeheartedly. I don't think this is something that a non-native can really acquire a feel for either, but that's just my opinion.


 

Eureka Yeung (X)
Local time: 13:32
English to Chinese
+ ...
encore "it" May 7, 2012

Dear Friend,

The following article, which might be not unfamiliar to a veteran translator, is for reference:

The Seller represents and warrants that:

It is a company duly incorporated and existing under the laws…



Best wishes,

Eureka


 


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