Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Pronoun "their"

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Bengali; Bangla
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 59
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    Pronoun "their"

    When someone is paying attention to you, you get a nice, warm feeling. It might even feel as if that person is giving off a glow, and you are warming yourself at the fire. You may want to stay and bask in their warmth for as long as you can.

    But when someone treats you badly, or ignores you, you feel a chill. Itís as if the whole room gets colder. Rather than turning towards you and showing you their face and warm smile, that person has turned their back on you. They have given you the cold shoulder.

    My question to you is in the above paragraph why the pronoun their has been used to indicate "someone"? I mean instead of theircould I use the pronoun his or her?

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 10,372
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: Pronoun "their"

    Yes. "His" or "her" would be the traditional proper pronoun to use for a singular subject. However, it is common nowadays to avoid any mention of gender by using "their" in these kind of cases.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 24,990
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: Pronoun "their"

    If the gender is unknown or unspecified, we tend to try to avoid using "his/her" these days as it's rather tautologous and wordy. Many people still don't like the use of "their" in that circumstance but you can't get away from the fact that it's used a lot.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] Use of pronoun "they" for "someone" "a person"
    By appf77 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 14-Nov-2012, 20:25
  2. Relative clause : using the pronoun "who" with animals ?
    By iamthebest in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 14-Oct-2012, 13:29
  3. [Grammar] "watch + pronoun/noun + verb (present plural)" construction Q
    By vcolts in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 31-Jul-2012, 16:29
  4. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-Sep-2010, 03:28
  5. "Hu," from "human," as a pronoun
    By Mike Epstein in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 26-Nov-2007, 08:49

Posting Permissions

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