I found in my book below sentence. Is it correct?

What’s their name?

If it's correct, I can answer "Their name is Alex and Ann.", isn't it?

Is it spoken version of "What are their names?"

1 Answer 1


Is it spoken version of "What are their names?"


What's their name?

Here, "their" is the "gender neutral" determiner; you use it when you are talking about someone whose gender you don't know, or when you don't want to mention "his" or "her". If I tell you "Hey, there is someone here to see you.", you would reply "Yeah? Who is it? What is their name?"

Their: used to refer to one person in order to avoid saying "his or her" (Cambridge)

  • One of the students has left their book behind.
  • I' m learning relative clause. I have this example: Sally stayed with some friends. What’s their name? --> What is the name of the friends Sally stayed with? So, I don't understand, if "What’s their name?" is singlar why the answer isn't "What is the name of the friend Sally stayed with?" Or is there an additional rule for this example?
    – Sergei
    Jun 21, 2020 at 17:08
  • Essential.Grammar.in.Use.Supplementary.Exercises. Exercise N183.
    – Sergei
    Jun 21, 2020 at 17:09
  • So, as I understand this sentence would be "Sally stayed with some friends. What're their names? --> What are the names of the friends Sally stayed with?", isn't it?
    – Sergei
    Jun 21, 2020 at 17:13
  • @Sergey Yes, your last comment sounds right. We would use the plural. To me, the singular version in this case seems like a mistake. Also note that the book has them in quotes.
    – AIQ
    Jun 21, 2020 at 22:48

You must log in to answer this question.

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