Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
    keannu is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    4,257
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Things often seem at its worst ?

    I have seen numerous cases for singular-plural matching. So in the following question of a test, number 5 "Things often seem at its worst " is the incorrect answer,
    but can you also say "Things often seem at its worst" instead of "Things often seem at their worst"?

    ex)I wonder how many people give up just when success is almost within reach. They endure day after day, and just when they’re about to make it, decide they can’t take any more. The difference between success and failure is not that great. Successful people have simply learned the value of staying in the game until it is won. Those who never make it are the ones who quit too soon. When things are darkest, successful people refuse to give up because they know they’re almost there. Things often seem at its worst just before they get better. The mountain is steepest at the summit, but that’s no reason to turn back.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    8,896
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Things often seem at its worst ?

    No. "Things" is plural. "Their" is plural. Things are at their worst.

    There are some cases where people use "their" with singular subjects, but that is to avoid saying "his." (Which some easily-offended can view as "sexist.")

    Match singular to singular and plural to plural.

  3. #3
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    2,113
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Things often seem at its worst ?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    that is to avoid saying "his." (Which some easily-offended can view as "sexist.")
    You mean, like feminists? Oh, really?

  4. #4
    keannu's Avatar
    keannu is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    4,257
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Things often seem at its worst ?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    No. "Things" is plural. "Their" is plural. Things are at their worst.

    There are some cases where people use "their" with singular subjects, but that is to avoid saying "his." (Which some easily-offended can view as "sexist.")

    Match singular to singular and plural to plural.

    Thanks a lot, and I think it's like "A student should do their best" to avoid sexist nuance. Isn't it?

  5. #5
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    13,134
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Things often seem at its worst ?

    'A student should do their best.'
    I always avoid this by saying 'Students should do their best'.

    Rover

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 27-Jun-2010, 05:50
  2. [Grammar] There are a lot of things or There are lots of things?
    By Williamyh in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 27-Nov-2009, 02:13
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Sep-2009, 10:50
  4. lot of things or lots of things
    By eversmiling in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 15-Jan-2008, 17:16
  5. What are the good things and the bad things about Indonesia?
    By reyhn in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-Oct-2007, 02:13

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk