Results 1 to 2 of 2

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Birne is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    singular noun after their


    I came across a sentence: Some people are wary of using their credit card.

    Why not credit cards?

    Actually I'd like to ask when do we use a singular noun after THEIR. I've looked through the Internet to find the answer but with no result. There are only skimpy sentences.

    Let's look at:
    1. Some people are wary of using their credit cards/credit card.
    2. A flight attendant should be aware of heir responsibility/responsibilities
    3. A student should not forget 'his or her/their' books.(a few books)
    4. A student should not forget 'his or her/their' math book.(one particular book)

    I don't understand it.Could anybody help and give the rule on this?

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Re: singular noun after their

    "Their" refers to the owner, not the object.
    One person can have one thing. The student forgot her book.
    One person can have multiple things. The student forgot her books.
    Two people can jointly have one thing. Ted and Alice enjoyed thieir vacation.
    Two people can jointly have multiple things. Ted and Alice like their neighbors.

    There is no need for his/her/their to match the noun that follows.

    Also note that "their" is very commonly used for a single person when the gender is not known.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

Posting Permissions

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