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Can anybody help me ? Which is correct ?

  1. Each of the actors did their part well. or
  2. Each of the actors did his part well.

Thanks in advance.

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Eddie Kal, Jason Bassford Supports Monica, Varun Nair, David Richerby Nov 13 '18 at 18:46

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  • It depends entirely on whether or not you know if the actors are male or not. (And, if so, what stylistic guidance you are following.) – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Nov 11 '18 at 23:11
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If all of the actors are male, then you could use "his", however, if not all of the actors are male, or the genders of the actors are unknown, then the modern convention is to either use the singular "their", or to use "his or her".

He or she versus they (Oxford)

When talking about actors in a play, TV programme or film, instead of "did", we use verbs like acted, played or performed.

-2

Note: An actor is usually said to play a part rather than to do it. To do is used in other activities.

Each of the actors did (played) his part well.

For many years this was the standard form in English unless the actors were all women in which case it would be, "Each of the actors did her part well." The term 'he' was traditionally understood to include 'he' and 'she'.

Each of the actors did (played) their part well.

In recent years, as a concession to gender politics,'they' is used as a singular gender-neutral pronoun and takes the third-person-singular verb.

These days, for reasons of sexual politics, it is unwise to use 'he' when referring to a group of people.

  • chasly, you sound a little resentful about "gender politics". Is that intentional? – Michael Harvey Nov 11 '18 at 13:03
  • Thanks Chasly, Is there any mistake in the second sentence- Each of the actors did (played) their part well. This was there in a question paper to spot the error in this sentence. – gramminterester Nov 11 '18 at 13:21
  • Michael Harvey - If I've said anything that is factually incorrect then please correct me. Whether or not I'm resentful is irrelevant on a language forum. Why are you even interested? – chasly from UK Nov 11 '18 at 13:51
  • gramminterester - There are two possible errors. (1) The use of 'did' instead of 'played' (2) 'Each' is singular and requires a singular verb and a singular prounoun. If your text book is an old one then 'their' may be considered incorrect. If the textbook is new then 'their' will probably be considered correct. – chasly from UK Nov 11 '18 at 13:59
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    -1 for as a concession to gender politics. There are no less than 386 upvotes on ELU for an answer that starts with Singular they enjoys a long history of usage in English. – FumbleFingers Nov 11 '18 at 14:00

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