Everyone, someone: his, her or their?

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Ottavio Amato, Jul 24, 2006.

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  1. Ottavio Amato

    Ottavio Amato Senior Member

    In the sentence: When everyone contributes[ … ]own ideas, the discussion will be a success which pronoun could be inserted?
    A. His
    B. Their
    C. Both

    Sono quasi certo che la risposta sia His (il verbo è alla terza persona singolare, no?). E' così?

    Grazie in anticipo!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2011
  2. Paul in Oz

    Paul in Oz Senior Member

    Perth, Western Australia
    English, Australia
    When everyone contributes their own ideas, the discussion will be a success
  3. saia Senior Member

    Io concordo con te Ottavio Amato, ho sempre saputo che "everyone" si comporta come un singolare, forse un madrelingua potrà aiutarci...
  4. Mack the Knife Junior Member

    una domanda ulteriore (scusate l'ignoranza) contributes o contributes with?..e se il verbo ha la s, non si tratta forse di terza persona singolare?

    ciao a tutti
  5. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    To avoid accusations of sexism, we could say "When everyone contributes his or her own ideas ....", but that sounds rather awkward. Instead we can use "their" as a gender-neutral singular: "When everyone contributes their own ideas ....". The use of "their" as a singular is widespread, but purists don't like it. I see nothing wrong with it.
  6. Fedora

    Fedora Senior Member

    Ft. Worth, Texas, USA
    To answer your question: Yes, everyone is singular.

    As to whether you should use his or their that really depends on what you were taught. Some people prefer their, others prefer his/her, and others prefer his.

    As sound shift said some purists frown on using their (although that is what you would normally hear and even see).

    There is an entire thread on this in English Only: Thread.

    Personally I would pick their.

    Hope that helps :)
  7. giannid

    giannid Senior Member

    USA English
    For me, his is correct.
  8. utente Senior Member

    California US
    American English
    Everyone is a collective noun, and is singular. It is true that many people use "their" but I am a "purist" and use "his".

    Everyone (ognuno) è un nome collettivo, ed è singolare. E' vero che molte gente usano "their" ma io sono "purist" ed io uso "his".

  9. Auno Banned

    Australia - English
    The font was so small on the original I gave this one away.

    This is a very old chestnut. I appreciate the purist line of thinking but my preference is 'their'. Simply on the basis of what I'll call 'modern day convenience'. 50 years ago I'd have said 'his'.
  10. Auno Banned

    Australia - English
    Eh? If that means "definitely", then there's nothing definite about "their"

    In strictly grammatical terms let's say, "his" is actually 'correct'. In usage however my preference is as indicated. And I expect it will become even a grammatical standard before much longer.
  11. utente Senior Member

    California US
    American English
    Auno è corretto. Le lingue cambiano. Io cambio più lentamente:eek: , è insisto per usare "him" invece "them".

  12. Bookmom

    Bookmom Senior Member

    Contributes to is correct...When everyone contributes to the discussion honestly... or as an alternative, when everyone contributes with honesty to the discussion.

    She contributes to the community generously with time and energy.

    You contribute to and collaborate with.

    And I would always say their, maybe his or her, never just his unless it were an exclusively male audience.
  13. Forengi Junior Member

    Entrambi sono giusto.
  14. ElaineG

    ElaineG Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    Sono un dinosauro e direi: "his or her own ideas" o anche "his" (non mi ammazzate, ma non penso che il mio posto nel mondo dipendi da un pronome). Però, "their own ideas" è molto molto comune.
  15. utente Senior Member

    California US
    American English
    Elaine-- grazie! Qui a San Francisco c'è molto pressione usare parole che sono politically correct ma, secondo me, "everybody is entitled to their o his or her opinion" souna male.
  16. Bookmom

    Bookmom Senior Member

    In an informal poll held in my little bookstore in the overwhelmingly blue state of Massachusetts every single respondent, 30 or 35 asked over the lunch hour, unabashedly ;) chose their.
  17. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    UK English
    I have been up in my eyes proofreading something at work for the last week. I took out all the his or hers to replace them with theirs if only because it is neater.

    As to your question whether contributes needs a with, I would say the "with" is redundant: Each person contributes his/ her/ their own ideas.
  18. DAH

    DAH Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    Each contributes his own ideas.
    Each donkey contibutes his own ideas.
    Each female contributes her own ideas.
    One contibutes his own ideas.
    Members of the budget committee contribute their own ideas.
  19. Troupian Junior Member

    G. Britain English
    Ciao Ottavio.
    There are no ifs and buts about this one. "Everyone" requires "his".
  20. giannid

    giannid Senior Member

    USA English
    Damn right!
  21. maronzolo Junior Member

    I have one doubt. I need to say:

    "Do you judge someone form his/its (?) appearance?"

    "someone" is not specified, so what should I use? its?
    thanks, I'll buy a grammar today :)
  22. SteveD

    SteveD Senior Member

    Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium
    British English
    I think that, to be grammatically correct, you should say, "...to judge someone from his or her appearance."

    However, we usually say, "...to judge someone from their appearance."
  23. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    Or a different way, not better:

    Do you judge someone by their appearance?
  24. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
  25. Giacomino New Member

    Ciao a tutti, ecco la mia domanda:
    "Someone left their umbrella on the bass" è corretto.
    E' corretto anche "Someone left its umbrella on the bass" ?
  26. francescazzurra Senior Member

    Genova, Italy
    Ciao! Benvenuto nel forum!
    "Bass" in italiano viene tradotto con "basso", lo strumento musicale. Forse intendevi "bus", l'autobus?

    Io direi "someone left his umbrella".
    "someone left their umbrella" sembra "qualcuno ha dimenticato il loro (di qualcun altro, terza persona plurale) ombrello". Ma aspetta un nativo.


    Guarda un pò qua http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1159841
  27. stella_maris_74

    stella_maris_74 Mod About Chocolate

    Italian - Italy
    Credo che their sia la forma politically correct del plurale: non si sa se quel qualcuno sia un uomo (nel qual caso si sarebbe usato his) o una donna (her), e quindi si dice their.

    Its è sicuramente sbagliato perché non si usa come possessivo per le persone.

    PS: Benvenuto, Giacomino! :)
  28. london calling Senior Member

    Its (e per analogia it) non si usa riferito a persone, ma ad oggetti (o animali, ma anche qui dipende dal rapporto hai con la bestia in questione: non direi mai "it" o its" parlando del mio micione:D)!
  29. fer1975 Senior Member

    Vilnius, Lithuania
    Italy, Italian
    Someone left their umbrella è corretto perchè non si sa o non si specifica chi effettivamente ha lasciato l'ombrello.
  30. Leo57 Senior Member

    UK English
    Hi there and welcome to the forum
    To address Francescazzurra's point: For "someone/somebody" we always use "their" (and they when appropriate)

    p.s. I didn't know about all the other posts because I kept getting cut off the internet! :)
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  31. Giacomino New Member

    Grazie a tutte e due per la risposta in tempo record.
    Chiaramente bass era bus, sono il solito distratto.

    Grazie ancora e....al prossimo dubbio atroce
  32. pescara Senior Member

    I believe the gramatically proper way to say this is: Somebody left his umbrella on the bus. However, it has become very common usage to say: somebody left their umbrella on the bus.

  33. london calling Senior Member

  34. francescazzurra Senior Member

    Genova, Italy
    Imparo sempre cose nuove! Grazie!
    Non avrei mai detto: "Somebody left their..." prima. Grazie! :)
  35. Phil Rusling New Member

    As many contributors have observed, it largely depends on the circumstances. Basically, you should use your noggin. His or her often seems a very clumsy attempt to be politically correct, and since "their" has been used with anyone for hundreds of years, I can see no reason to rule it incorrect. I once had to translate a first-aid manual in which "his or her" would have appeared on just about every line "place the victim on his or her back" etc.; the overall effect of refusing to use "their" would have been to render the text extremely tedious, or even comic.
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