Nobody could survive on its own

grammatically correct, or is it

Nobody could survive on his own


2 Answers 2


People aren't objects, so you shouldn't use "it's", you should use "their".

If I were you, I would say:

Nobody could survive on their own

You should use "their" instead of "it's", because "it's" is for objects, whereas "their" is more towards the meaning of "for people".

P.S. OP said that he uses "could", I was thinking the OP should use "can", but the OP said in the comments that he uses "could".

  • Oh dear! One of my most unfavourite uses for the dreaded apostrophe is when someone uses one to mean possessive for 'something belonging to it'. It just isn't. The possessive its stands on its own. It's not short for its. It's is short for it is. We don't write hi's for something belonging to him. -1.
    – Tim
    Jan 1, 2021 at 12:25

Since 'nobody' is a personal pronoun, it refers to a person. No person can be referred to as 'it', so 'its' won't work well there.

Were the sentence 'Nothing could survive on its own', then the its fits.

Nobody could survive on his/her/their own is acceptable.

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