What is the correct use of pronoun with each/every/each of

  • Each of the boys has/have brought his/their pen.

  • Each boy has/have brought his/their pen.

Please explain which is correct pronoun here, his or their

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – ColleenV
    May 20, 2019 at 11:52

2 Answers 2


I would say in this particular example where we're talking about boys, in both cases,

each is singular and therefore has/his is correct

However, today, in situations where (1) gender is unknown, (2) the group comprise both genders, or (3) there are gender-fluid individuals in the group, it has become more normal to adopt the gender-neutral their (and correspondingly have) instead of his.

Each student should hand in their homework on time.

Each and every employee is expected to submit their punch card.

Assuming the male gender as representative of everyone can at best be deemed an outdated notion from a bygone era, and at worst insensitive and offensive. Of course, we could say his or her but that sounds a little clumsy compared to their.

That said, in the original example, if it's fairly certain that the 'boys' do not have anyone who is gender-fluid in the group, we really should stick to has/his.


"Each" requires a singular. Therefore the following are correct:

  • Each of the boys has brought his pen.

  • Each boy has brought his pen.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .