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Thread: Its or their?

  1. Innocent Fairy's Avatar
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    #1

    Question Its or their?

    What shall I use, either one?
    The biggest problem in our country is our Government and its/ their bogus policies.

  2. Huda-M's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Its or their?

    Quote Originally Posted by Innocent Fairy View Post
    What shall I use, either one?
    The biggest problem in our country is our Government and its/ their bogus policies.
    'Its'
    As you know the 'Government' is one whole working body, and you are not referring to the different people there separately.
    (ps I'm not a teacher)

  3. Innocent Fairy's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Its or their?

    Quote Originally Posted by Huda-M View Post
    'Its'
    As you know the 'Government' is one whole working body, and you are not referring to the different people there separately.
    (ps I'm not a teacher)
    Thanks Brother, but I would like teachers' comments. Please teachers consider my question too.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Its or their?

    I agree with Huda-M.

    "...the Government and its policies..."

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Its or their?

    In BrE generally, collective nouns can be regarded as singular or plural. "The government, with their policies, deserve to be thrown out as soon ..." is acceptable.
    Last edited by 5jj; 22-Jul-2011 at 23:23. Reason: typo

  6. Innocent Fairy's Avatar
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    #6

    Question Re: Its or their?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I agree with Huda-M.

    "...the Government and its policies..."
    I don't understand why there are so many differences and variations in opinions of English learned people. Some people say something and the other people say something else.
    What would you say about the following sentence which has been taken from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
    The government is/are expected to announce its/their tax proposals today.

  7. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Its or their?

    Quote Originally Posted by Innocent Fairy View Post
    What would you say about the following sentence which has been taken from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
    The government is/are expected to announce its/their tax proposals today.
    I would say that it agrees with what I said in my previous post: "In BrE generally, collective nouns can be regarded as singular or plural."

  8. Innocent Fairy's Avatar
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    #8

    Question Re: Its or their?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I would say that it agrees with what I said in my previous post: "In BrE generally, collective nouns can be regarded as singular or plural."
    Now, it makes sense. Thanks a million, sir.

  9. Hedwig's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Its or their?

    Quote Originally Posted by Innocent Fairy View Post
    I don't understand why there are so many differences and variations in opinions of English learned people. Some people say something and the other people say something else. Hi, Fairy. You may not have noticed that very often posters make it clear that they are talking about a specific variety of English, such as BrE or AmE. The language is so widespread around the world that it has regional divergences.
    What would you say about the following sentence which has been taken from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
    The government is/are expected to announce its/their tax proposals today. I'd say the dictionary means both forms are possible. Mind you, if you choose is you should match it with its, and are with their.
    See above. And make the cursor hover over the (underlined) acronyms if you're not sure what they mean.

    Hedwig
    Not a teacher

  10. aachu's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Its or their?

    Not a teacher.

    See, when you take government as a whole, you shall use "its" with it. However, if you were to take government as composed of separate elements then you shall have to use "theirs" with it.

    Cases in point:

    Herd is grasing, If we were to take herd as a whole.
    Herd are grasing. If we were to take herd as composed of separate sheep.

    Pakistan has won. If team Pakistan is taken to be a single unit.
    Pakistan have won. If Pakistan team is taken to be composed of separate players.

    http://www.grammar-monster.com/lesso...ctive_noun.htm
    Last edited by aachu; 22-Jul-2011 at 23:55.

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