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Hi

Every human being, after the first few days of their life, is a product of two factors; on the one hand, there is their congenital endowment; on the other, there is the effect of environment, including environment.

Is the use of their here grammatical?

Please give your views.

Suresh

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vsureshIs the use of their here grammatical?

Yes. It is quite common to use they, them, their, theirs, and themselves as a non-gendered singular pronoun.


By the way, unrelated to your question, I couldn't help notice that there's something wrong here:

vsuresh the effect of environment, including environment.

CJ

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Every human being, after the first few days of their life, is a product of two factors; on the one hand, there is their… endowment; on the other, there is the effect of environment, including education.

It should have been education in place of environment

Aha! I knew there was something strange there. Emotion: smile

CJ

CalifJimvsuresh the effect of environment, including environment.

I noticed it a little late. I think as I was making that change, you mentioned. Thank you, CJ.

Suresh

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CalifJimYes. It is quite common to use they, them, their, theirs, and themselves as a non-gendered singular pronoun.

Okay. Thank you, CJ.

Suresh

vsureshIs the use of their here grammatical?

Yes and no. It's pretty obvious that the subject is singular. "They" is a natural and time-honored way to speak of the singular general case, male or female, if you don't want to use the traditional generic "he", but it never gained the acceptance of fourth-grade English teachers. That generic "he" has fallen into disfavor in my lifetime for being supposedly sexist, so people have been using "they", sometimes with ludicrous results, in defiance of standard grammar. This defiance befits their radical agenda, and it will eventually become standard, but we are not all the way there yet. Your sentence illustrates this.

"Every human being" is so solidly singular that "their" screams social engineering for some of us. That is a distraction for the reader, but "his" is distracting for the rest of us for the reasons explained above. Luckily, in this case, no pronoun is needed (and the stacked semicolons are intrusive):

"Every human being, after the first few days of life, is a product of two factors. On the one hand, there is congenital endowment, and on the other, there is the effect of environment, including education."

Thank you,anon. I understand your views.

Suresh

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