I miss you, like a child...

coppaviva

Member
Italy, Italian
Hi everyone!

I've heard this line in a song:

"I miss you, like a child misses their blanket" (something like that).

Is that grammatically correct? Why does the singer use "their" which is a plural possessive adjective (as far as I know), together with "child" which is a singular noun?
Maybe I just got it wrong.
Can you help me, please?
ciao!
 
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    It is not grammatically correct; this is often the case with music and poetry.

    "I miss you like a child misses his/her blanket" would be correct. There are many other ways of writing it.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hi everyone!

    I've heard this line in a song:

    "I miss you, like a child misses their blanket" (something like that).

    Is that grammatically correct? Why does the singer use "their" which is a plural possessive adjective (as far as I know), together with "child" which is a singular noun?
    Maybe I just got it wrong.
    Can you help me, please?
    ciao!

    Many of us on the forum continually remind others that music and poetry take great license with the English language, Coppaviva. This is primarily because the words can be made to "fit" the tempo/meter of the song or poem. Be cautious and don't rely too strongly on music and poetry to learn from.
     

    panjandrum

    Senior Member
    English-Ireland (top end)
    How very strange.
    In a song, I would pick my sex for the child. Using their sounds so impersonal. Using his or her suggests a real child, adding so much to the emotion of the line.
    Surely the singer knows his/her own sex?
    I miss you, like a child misses his blanket.

    For information, that is always a blankie, not a blanket
    A blanket is for warmth.
    A blankie is for comfort.

    Edit: I suppose river is right to suggest using as rather than like. But I'd plead lyrics again ...
     

    Prairiefire

    Senior Member
    US (Midwest) - English
    Poetry, not not good grammar: like a child misses their blanket;
    Good grammar, but clunky style: as a child misses his or her blankie;
    Good grammar, not clunky: as a child misses a lost blankie.

    True, my option doesn't contain the specific information about who owns the blankie, but I don't think it is needed.
     
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