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    • Join Date: Aug 2008
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    #1

    Question Singular & Possessives

    In this sentence "Today it is illegal for anyone to help or assist someone else in taking their own life with penalties up to 14 years in prison." I used the word "someone" with "their" and lost marks for it. I thought that their was the correct possessive to use but lost marks for it a number of times in this paper. Other than saying "his/hers" (which I find cumbersome to read) how could I have written this sentence better?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: Singular & Possessives

    Welcome to the forums.

    Quote Originally Posted by msartlit View Post
    In this sentence "Today it is illegal for anyone to help or assist someone else in taking their own life, with penalties up to 14 years in prison." I used the word "someone" with "their" and lost marks for it. I thought that their was the correct possessive to use but lost marks for it a number of times in this paper. Other than saying "his/hers" (which I find cumbersome to read) how could I have written this sentence better?

    You could have said "to commit suicide" which would avoid the problem.

    As it is, I cannot see the problem with using "their" in this way; I suppose the thinking was that you should have said "his/hers".

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