Some types of nouns feel ungrammatical in “His every [noun]”?

Abstract nouns, specifically nouns related to feelings, feel natural: Set A: His every {whim, desire, need, wish} should be satisfied by the council. However, concrete nouns feel wrong. Set B: His every {photograph, watch, “piece of jewelry”} was placed in the safety deposit box. Are the examples in “Set B” grammatically correct? If not, could … Read more

‘My’ or ‘mine’?

We are making a piece of software that lists some kind of objects. An object may belong to a user (be ‘private’) or it may be made ‘public’. The list is quite large, therefore in the list form there’s a filter panel. One of the controls on that panel is the ‘Privacy’ drop-down box with … Read more

Why are plural pronouns used for a singular third person?

My initial concept was: One should finish one’s meal. When a user logs in to his/her email… A person bought a cake for his/her work. However, in the recent (8-10) years, I have been seeing more and more references like these: One should finish their meal. When a user logs in to their email… A … Read more

Referring to something belonging to a goblin: is it “its” thing or “his” thing?

I’m writing tutorial for fantasy game with said goblin acting as an example. Now, I need to relate to the thing belonging to that goblin, let’s say it’s an apple. Is it his apple or its apple? Shall I treat mythological creature as a human or as an animal? Answer The choice depends on whether … Read more

SAT question, pronoun “their”

I’ve been practising for the coming SAT, and I got confused by this question from the writing section. It read something like this: John was one of the astronomers who devoted all their time to science. It was in the error identification section, and the insidious error was in the pronoun “their”. Could you please … Read more

“Its” as a Possessive Pronoun

Since its can be both determiner possessive pronoun and nominal possessive pronoun, an example of its as determiner possessive pronoun would be: We saved this question for last because of its complexity. Because complexity is a noun, so its must be a determiner possessive pronoun in this sentence. I’m looking for an example where its … Read more

Preferred way to apostrophise in case of dual or multiple ownership by distinct entities

Possible Duplicate: “Nikki's and Alice's X” vs. “Nikki and Alice's X” Consider describing the wedding of X and Y. If I want to avoid the overly-formal and poor-flowing “wedding of”, it is more correct to say “X and Y’s wedding” or “X’s and Y’s wedding”? I acknowledge a very similar question has already been asked: … Read more

Usage of the gerund preceded by the possessive adjective/determiner?

I read this thread on the usage of the gerund preceded by the possessive adjective/determiner with much interest. I have another question about the usage of the gerund preceded by the possessive adjective/determiner. In a test from a textbook I am using, one must choose the correct form of the bracketed word in the following … Read more

When is a gerund supposed to be preceded by a possessive adjective/determiner?

I assume that the following sentences are grammatically correct: He resents your being more popular than he is. Most of the members paid their dues without my asking them. They objected to the youngest girl’s being given the command position. What do you think about his buying such an expensive car? We were all sorry … Read more