Piotr Czekała
Singular vs plural form I am reading an article about neuroscience and these few sentences are bothering me. I am not sure if there is an error or it is just me having some internal conflict :D the author is using "their brain" while there is "a participant" or "an individual. What do you guys think about it? ..Not only that, it’s only matter of time before they(the scientists) are able to tell each individual’s set of aptitudes and shortcomings, simply from scanning their brain. Researchers in this study could accurately predict how a participant would do on the test by scanning their brain with an fMRI.
Dec 13, 2016 10:51 AM
Answers · 2
Good question. The history of this issue is that "their" and "them" have come to be used as more space-efficient and practical alternatives to, "his or her" and "s/he", respectively. For a long time there was resistance within the professional writing community to using "their" because, of course, its plurality is wrong, as you noticed. :) But in time that objection was overcome, and now it's standard practice. and this few sentences -> and these few sentences
December 13, 2016
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!
Piotr Czekała
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, German, Greek, Hebrew, Polish, Spanish
Learning Language
English, German