possessive adjectives english


Which possessive adjective best works in the sentence below?

All brought (his,their) hymnals to choir practice.

asked Oct 22 '13 at 07:19 Giselle Macalpin New member

1 answer


I am not sure why people are thumbing down anyone.


I gave a very clear, and correct, response.


This is a question of pronoun-antecedent agreement.


The antecedent is "All"

The pronoun is "his or her" or "their" (you have to decide)


"All" is one of the indefinite pronouns that can either be singular or plural (it does not have a defined plurality).


In order to tell if it is singular or plural you look at what it is referring to.

In this case, it is referring to more than one person, so it is plural.


Contrary to what Patty said, some indefinite pronouns are ALWAYS singular--even IF they refer to more than one person.


"Everyone brought his or her hymnals to choir practice."

You are talking about more than one person, but it is still SINGULAR.

                          (Saying "their" would be wrong--even if it sounds correct to you.)


I don't care what Patty says or how many people thumb down the comment.

To answer this question with a correct grammatical lesson, you MUST discuss pronoun-antecedent agreement with indefinite pronouns.


If you don't believe me, then look it up, but do not thumb things down out of ignorance.

link edited Oct 23 '13 at 01:16 Aaron Prejean Expert

I'm not sure why you are getting all pissy at me, Aaron. You are simply elaborating on the answer I gave, giving the same answer, yet insist that I am wrong. "Contrary to what Patty said, some indefinite pronouns are ALWAYS singular" - I didn't say anything about indefinite pronouns at all. What are you reading? "To answer this question ... you MUST discuss ...." There aren't any rules about how much a person must elaborate on an answer here. I gave a very brief answer, assuming that Giselle was smart enough to understand.

Patty TOct 23 '13 at 01:49

I don't think you understand how your answer is giving off a misconception. You simply cannot say "his refers to multiple people, so it is singular". In this sentence "Everyone brought his hymnals to choir practice." "his" is referring to more than one person. ACCORDING TO YOUR ANSWER, we should have used "there". But we shouldn't This is why your answer is wrong. It is. You gave the correct answer, but the reason you gave is incorrect... It is like a math problem saying "2+3= 5 or 6" and you say "it is 5 because I have 5 fingers." You gave the correct answer for the wrong reason, why can't you see this?

FreyalacimoOct 23 '13 at 01:52


FreyalacimoOct 23 '13 at 01:52

I am really sorry, Frey, that thirty seconds of my time to answer Giselle's question has given you and your friend Aaron so much angst. You didn't ask the question. You have never participated here before. Your comment above is riddled with errors. I try not to get sucked in by trolls, but here goes: I did not say, "his refers to multiple people, so it is singular." The sentence is NOT "Everyone brought his hymnals to choir practice." The sentence does not have the word "everyone" in it. Your all caps shouting is too funny. I would never suggest someone use "there" instead of "their". You state that "the reason you gave is incorrect." Indeed, I did NOT give a reason at all!

Patty TOct 23 '13 at 02:12

(1) I don't know Freyalacimo. (2) His typos don't make him incorrect. (3) He is correct. That is why I wrote the sentence down. Saying "His is a pronoun that refers to one male. You are talking about multiple people." would result in people thinking "his" doesn't agree with "Everyone", but it does. I find it funny that someone you are pretty much calling an idiot gets what I am saying, but you do not.

Aaron PrejeanOct 23 '13 at 02:15

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