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Which of the following sentences are correct?

Mrs. Smith talking about their husband.

or

Mrs. Smith talking about her husband.

or

Both correct.

Would be great to have someone with at least a degree in English answer as I am debating this with an Oxford graduate.

Thank You

Simon
Comments  
First, neither is a sentence. Mrs. Smith IS talking about... makes it a sentence.

Although many people insist that you can only use "their" for plural, its use for the third-person singular is well-establisehd.

However, you use it ONLY when you don't know the sex of the person you're referring to. It's utterly illogical to use it for "Mrs. Smith," who is clearly female. Only "her" works in that sentence.
Mr Anonymous aka Simon here

The question really is since we know the gender of the person can we still use their in a sentance?

thanks

S
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Thanks for the answer.
Can i get something a little more concrete from you :-)
It may be illogical but it it grammatically correct?

thanks

S
No. Using "their" in your sentence would suggest that the reference is to someone else's husband (not Mrs. Smith's husband).

In theory, "their" could also be used in your sentence if Mr. Smith has more than one wife, and Mrs Smith1 is talking with Mrs Smith2 about Mr Smith. Emotion: smile
so this is why "they" is used in this sentence:
  • mda_omega updated their profile.
This means we don't know mda_omega is a male or female, isn't this?
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Thank you everyone.

I think the matter is settled now Emotion: smile

It is much appreciated

S
mda_omegaso this is why "they" is used in this sentence:

  • mda_omega updated their profile.
This means we don't know mda_omega is a male or female, isn't this?

Exactly.

I learned from English teachers (meaning born in England at the St. Catherine's School) to use their only in plural. But as this was long ago, perhaps now is different.

Anyway I liked the answer.

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