Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    bieasy is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • Belgium
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    670

    Cool Why 'their'?

    Hi,

    In the following passage:

    'No veteran who has served and risked their life ... should have to worry about their personal safety.....'

    'Veteran' is singular, so why does the author use 'their' instead of 'his'?

  2. #2
    IHIVG's Avatar
    IHIVG is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    354

    Re: Why 'their'?

    Quote Originally Posted by bieasy View Post
    Hi,

    In the following passage:

    'No veteran who has served and risked their life ... should have to worry about their personal safety.....'

    'Veteran' is singular, so why does the author use 'their' instead of 'his'?
    Hi bieasy,
    It's common to use 'their' with singular in English to allow for both genders.

    Singular they - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    6,742

    Re: Why 'their'?

    Quote Originally Posted by bieasy View Post
    Hi,

    In the following passage:

    'No veteran who has served and risked their life ... should have to worry about their personal safety.....'

    'Veteran' is singular, so why does the author use 'their' instead of 'his'?

    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********

    Hello, Bieasy.

    (1) When I was younger, English speakers would use his in your

    sentence because for a long time his referred to both genders.

    (2) Then in the 1960's, many groups in the United States expressed

    dissatisfaction with their treatment.

    (a) Many women resented the pronouns he, his, him being used to

    refer to women.

    (i) As a result, many people now have decided to use their as a pronoun

    to please both genders.

    (a) If you are not comfortable with their (I personally am not), you

    may use:

    his or her

    she or he (instead of they)

    s/he

    Whenever possible, some people write a sentence so that it is not

    necessary to use a personal pronoun or they make the noun plural

    in order to match their.

    Thank you

  4. #4
    bieasy is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • Belgium
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    670

    Re: Why 'their'?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********

    Hello, Bieasy.

    (1) When I was younger, English speakers would use his in your

    sentence because for a long time his referred to both genders.

    (2) Then in the 1960's, many groups in the United States expressed

    dissatisfaction with their treatment.

    (a) Many women resented the pronouns he, his, him being used to

    refer to women.

    (i) As a result, many people now have decided to use their as a pronoun

    to please both genders.

    (a) If you are not comfortable with their (I personally am not), you

    may use:

    his or her

    she or he (instead of they)

    s/he

    Whenever possible, some people write a sentence so that it is not

    necessary to use a personal pronoun or they make the noun plural

    in order to match their.

    Thank you
    Thank you Theparter!

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    74,151

    Re: Why 'their'?

    The use of their is very widespread in British English and I use it and the only people who have complained about our using it on the site have been AmE speakers. I think that BrE is generally more relaxed about singular and plural issues.

  6. #6
    MASM's Avatar
    MASM is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Spain
      • Current Location:
      • Spain
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    287

    Re: Why 'their'?

    Yes, I have studied that plural "they or their" is used in singular in order to avoid gender distinction like in "Someone's forgotten their bag"

Posting Permissions

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