Pronoun "their"

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britdam007

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When someone is paying attention to you, you get a nice, warm feeling. It might even feel as if that person is giving off a glow, and you are warming yourself at the fire. You may want to stay and bask in their warmth for as long as you can.

But when someone treats you badly, or ignores you, you feel a chill. It’s as if the whole room gets colder. Rather than turning towards you and showing you their face and warm smile, that person has turned their back on you. They have given you the cold shoulder.

My question to you is in the above paragraph why the pronoun their has been used to indicate "someone"? I mean instead of theircould I use the pronoun his or her?
 

SoothingDave

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Yes. "His" or "her" would be the traditional proper pronoun to use for a singular subject. However, it is common nowadays to avoid any mention of gender by using "their" in these kind of cases.
 

emsr2d2

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If the gender is unknown or unspecified, we tend to try to avoid using "his/her" these days as it's rather tautologous and wordy. Many people still don't like the use of "their" in that circumstance but you can't get away from the fact that it's used a lot.
 
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