1

Which one is more acceptable?

1. Each boy and each girl has done his duty.

2. Each boy and each girl has done his or her duty.

3. Each boy and each girl has done their duty.

Edit: Here is what I think.

I think (1) isn't acceptable because 'his' is in masculine gender, which doesn't fit the noun 'girl'. (3) isn't acceptable because the verb 'has' is singular but the pronoun 'their' is plural. (2) is ok but the expression "his or her" looks awkward.

  • Which do you think is not acceptable? And why? – AIQ May 9 at 8:22
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    @AIQ, I think (1) isn't acceptable because 'his' is in masculine gender, which doesn't fit the noun 'girl'. (3) isn't acceptable because the verb 'has' is singular but the pronoun 'their' is plural. (2) is ok but the expression "his or her" looks awkward. – Sandip Kumar Mandal May 9 at 12:12
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    Yes - what you said in your comment is exactly what you need to provide in your question. I have edited your question to include that. It shows you have thought about it. – AIQ May 9 at 12:27
2

You have already provided most of the answer.

  1. Each boy and each girl has done his duty.

Isn't acceptable because 'his' is in masculine gender, which doesn't fit the noun 'girl'.

  1. Each boy and each girl has done his or her duty.

Is ok but the expression "his or her" looks awkward.

  1. Each boy and each girl has done their duty.

The preferred answer.

"Their" is a form of singular they, which typically occurs with an unspecified antecedent.

| improve this answer | |
  • Assuming that somebody finds all three objectionable, there is an alternative. Although it sounds stilted and unusual, nobody could disagree with it in terms of gender: Each boy and girl as done that child's duty. Or: Each boy and girl has done a child's duty. (Assuming somebody wanted to distinguish between those two.) I can think of additional ways of rephrasing it, but they all involve replacing the pronoun with an actual noun. – Jason Bassford May 9 at 15:28

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