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their

See definition of their on Dictionary.com

synonyms for their

  • her
  • hir
  • his
  • its
  • my
  • our
  • vis
  • xyr
  • your
  • zir
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is their a pronoun or an adjective?

Their is the possessive form of the personal pronoun they. It’s often considered a possessive pronoun, but it functions as a possessive adjective (also called a possessive determiner). That’s a lot of labels for such a common word, but they essentially mean this: their shows possession by functioning as an adjective and modifying a noun (it never functions as a noun itself). The same thing can be said about my (the possessive form of the pronoun I) and our (the possessive form of the pronoun we). (The forms theirs, mine, and ours stand alone as nouns and never accompany another noun as modifiers.)

In contrast, the word his can be used as both a possessive pronoun (as in That jacket is his) or a possessive adjective (as in That is his jacket). Possessive words like their commonly indicate possession or ownership, but they can also indicate things other than literal possession, like origin or other qualities (such as in phrases like their country).

Their is used along with third person pronouns (like they and them), which refer to anyone other than the person doing the addressing or the ones being addressed. Other third person possessive forms include his, her, hers, and theirs. In contrast, first person pronouns (like I, me, we, and us) refer to the speaker or writer themselves. First person possessive forms include my, mine, our, and ours. Second person pronouns (like you and yourself) are used to address the person being spoken to or reading. Possessive forms of these include your and yours.

Their can be used as both a plural possessive and a singular possessive.

Generic singular possession

They has a long history of being used to refer to an unspecified individual or to a person whose gender and other personal details are unknown or irrelevant, and their can also be used as a singular in this way, as in If a student is absent, they must bring in a note from their parent or guardian when they return to school. Sentences like this sometimes use constructions like his or her, but the use of their has become very common in such instances, with many people preferring their as less awkward and more inclusive.

Nonbinary gender expression

A use of their that has become more widespread is as a singular possessive form for those who use the singular, gender-inclusive personal pronoun they due to identifying as nonbinary or having a gender identity that exists between or beyond the spectrum of strictly male or female. Grammatically, their is used in the same way as the gender-specific terms like his and her, but it’s gender-neutral.

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How to use their in a sentence

Again Rome had to gasp for breath, and again the two were fiercely locked-their corded arms as tense as serpents.
A CUMBERLAND VENDETTAJOHN FOX, JR.
We may, however, settle it that Mr. Plan-others-their-work could put all the harvest he ever had in his waistcoat pocket!
BROKEN BREADTHOMAS CHAMPNESS
Such was the education of the Spartans with regard to one of the greatest of their-kings.
THE SOCIAL CONTRACT & DISCOURSESJEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU
Oak, hickory and beech—clean, vast, in-their-prime forest-men—with thorn and dogwood growing between.
CHILD AND COUNTRYWILL LEVINGTON COMFORT
In our desperate state, anything seemed fair in love or war with such hard, worth-their-weight-in-gold people.
EVERYMAN'S LANDC. N. WILLIAMSON AND A. M. WILLIAMSON
People who had much to say about their-spiritual experiences and hopes of heaven.
THE ALLEN HOUSET. S. ARTHUR
See that their evenings out, and their-179- precious Sunday afternoons are not encroached upon.
SOCIAL LIFEMAUD C. COOKE
The down-on-their-luck fellows were down through their own fault I supposed.
DIMBIE AND I--AND AMELIAMABEL BARNES-GRUNDY
The appropriate lighting for the traditional girlish-chatter-while-they-brush-their-hair.
TWOS AND THREESG. B. STERN
His name is They-have-their-Reward, and his duty is to push the shades into the red water.
A HISTORY OF CHINESE LITERATUREHERBERT A. GILES
SYNONYM OF THE DAY
OCTOBER 26, 1985
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capacitor

WORDS RELATED TO THEIR

  • hir
  • his
  • its
  • my
  • our
  • their
  • vis
  • xyr
  • your
  • zir
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.