'Strengthen your and your partner's reproductive systems.'

Tehuti

Member
English English
Hi, guys.

I am writing a sales letter for a fertility product and have come across a little confusion. Which one of the following two sentences is correct?

Strengthen your and your partner's reproductive system.​
Strengthen your and your partner's reproductive systems.​

Note that the only difference is the inclusion of an -s at the end of the second sentence.

Similarly, which one of the following two sentences is correct?

Increase your and your partner's fertility.​
Increase your and your partner's fertilities.​

I am guessing that the first one is correct, because the second one just doesn't sound right. Am I correct?
 
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    "You and your partner" forms a unit so you would write "you and your partner's reproductive system." Probably "system" in the singular, although I suspect there to be some disagreement about this. You could also write "the reproductive system of both you and your partner." "Both" may not be necessary but there's no harm in putting it.

    Similar with fertility, since it is hardly ever used in the plural.
     

    Tehuti

    Member
    English English
    Thanks, e2efour, but I don't think that Strengthen you and your partner's reproductive system sounds right. Maybe I'm wrong. :confused:

    I can always change the structure of the sentences to:

    Strengthen the reproductive systems of both you and your partner.​

    Increase the fertility of both you and your partner.​

    What do you think?
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    If you write "both" you must have "reproductive system", of which we only have one!

    I think "your and your partner's" is less natural than "you and your partner's". Try googling the two.
     

    Tehuti

    Member
    English English
    I mean to refer to two reproductive systems, that of the male and that of the female. For that reason, I am pretty sure that I have to pluralise reproductive system to reproductive systems.

    I suppose the most straightforward way of putting it would be:

    Strengthen your reproductive system and your partner's reproductive system.​

    But I don't like the repetition.

    I am beginning to feel that the following are correct:

    Strengthen your and your partner's reproductive systems.​

    Increase your and your partner's fertility.​

    What say you, or anyone else?
     

    clevermizo

    Senior Member
    English (USA), Spanish
    I mean to refer to two reproductive systems, that of the male and that of the female. For that reason, I am pretty sure that I have to pluralise reproductive system to reproductive systems.

    I suppose the most straightforward way of putting it would be:
    Strengthen your reproductive system and your partner's reproductive system.

    You could always say:

    Strengthen your reproductive system and that of your partner.

    But I don't like the repetition.

    I am beginning to feel that the following are correct:
    Strengthen your and your partner's reproductive systems.
    "your and your partner's reproductive systems" may technically be correct here since there are two reproductive systems, yours and that of your partner (not the reproductive system of the unit "you and your partner"). However "your and X's Y" is a little unnatural.

    Increase your and your partner's fertility
    This should be fine as "Increase you and your partner's fertility." "Your and your X's Y" is still awkward, but at least here we have the word "fertility" which is uncountable.

    I rather like your other suggestions above using the prepositional phrase.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    If you wish to avoid writing "you and your partner's" (as I would certainly avoid writing "your and your partner's" on the grounds that you and your partner form a unit) I agree with Clevermizo that the best way to do this is to write "your reproductive system and that of your partner".
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Strengthen the reproductive systems of both you and your partner.​
    Increase the fertility of both you and your partner.​
    I like these versions the best, Tehuti.
    But, in the originals I'd use systems [countable: you have one each] and fertility [uncountable].
    But (again) I wouldn't say your and your partner's ~ it feels hypercorrect:(
     

    Tehuti

    Member
    English English
    But, in the originals I'd use systems [countable: you have one each] and fertility [uncountable].
    But (again) I wouldn't say your and your partner's ~ it feels hypercorrect:(
    So, you would say Strengthen you and your partner's reproductive systems?

    Everyone who has responded to me seems to dislike the your and your partner's part. However, I'm sure that this is correct, because, when the reproductive systems are mentioned separately, you would say your reproductive system and your partner's reproductive system. Put them together into a sentence and surely you will get your and your partner's reproductive systems, wouldn't you?
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    So, you would say Strengthen you and your partner's reproductive systems?
    I'd say it, but I wouldn't write it in a bit of formal writing. I'd recast it.

    The problem (for me) with your and your partner's reproductive system is that while it does sound correct, it sounds more hypercorrect than really correct:(
     
    Last edited:

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    The problem here, Tehuti, is that you're smack in the middle of a paradigm gap: see this article.
    But, in the originals I'd use systems [countable: you have one each] and fertility [uncountable].
    But (again) I wouldn't say your and your partner's ~ it feels hypercorrect:(
    I agree with ewie on the singular/plural point. As regards "your and your partner's", you'd be better off recasting - as ewie and others have said.
     
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