subject and possessive agreement

by Susan

See this sentence:

"First, ask the patient their name."

This is common usage, but "their" is plural and "patient" is singular.

Is the sentence correct and an exception to the rule?


Comments for subject and possessive agreement

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 17, 2011
Dual meaning of "their".
by: Anonymous

Their can be both singular and plural, since it is a possessive pronoun that can refer to either multiple subjects, or a subject that has no known gender. Since there is no gender given to the subject, it is correct.

Oct 13, 2011
Ola, where are you?
by: Susan

I'm still awaiting an answer from Ola.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to ask your grammar questions here..

Still looking?  Search the site for exactly what you need using the site search box below.

Happy exploring!

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Discover these Amazing ESL Materials!

It's English Time! English Express! 5 Simple Steps to Better Writing! English Harmony 2.0! Pronunciation Power!
Effortless English! Best Accent Training! Ola Zur! English Grammar Revolution! English Success

Sign-up For The Learn English Newsletter

Your E-mail Address
Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Learn English Newsletter.