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    #1

    1 in 5 people accidentally drop their/his or her phone/s...

    A study suggests that nearly 1 in 5 people accidentally drop their phones down the loo.

    The above sentence is from an advertisement.

    Is the sentence correct? Shouldn't it be "nearly 1 in 5 people accidentally drops his or her phone down the loo"?

    Thanks.

  1. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: 1 in 5 people accidentally drop their/his or her phone/s...

    NOT A TEACHER

    I would have used the plural form as well, as did they ( http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/...in-the-toilet/ ).

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    #3

    Re: 1 in 5 people accidentally drop their/his or her phone/s...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Is the sentence correct?
    Yes- some traditionalists claim that this is wrong, but the usage is extremely common. I think there's no case for arguing that it's an error. And I use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Shouldn't it be "nearly 1 in 5 people accidentally drops his or her phone down the loo"?
    It could be.

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    #4

    Re: 1 in 5 people accidentally drop their/his or her phone/s...

    One in five people, or 20% of the population, is a large number of people, so the plural 'their phones' sounds perfectly logical.

    Even if there were only five of us (of both sexes) in a room, it would be fine to say 'I wonder which of us has dropped their phone down the loo.'

    Rover

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: 1 in 5 people accidentally drop their/his or her phone/s...

    I tend to treat 'one in five people' as plural, but 'one person in five' as singular.

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