I have seen "your" used instead of "his"/"her"/"their" but this isn't what I see in Grammar books so I wonder if this use is common among English native speakers or if it sounds odd.

For example:

Q: "What does Dracula look like?"

A: "Your face is white, your ears are pointy, your teeth are big..." so, your instead of his

Another example:

"My kids would have great butts if they took after your mother." Here, your instead of their

"They still need to find your pieces." Your instead of their

The Dracula example was said by a non-native speaker but the other two examples were taken from TV shows.

The your butts meaning their butts examoke was taken from a tv show called The challenge.

Your pieces meaning their pieces was on survivor Australia. I think I can get links. I'll re-watch it and check what I heard

  • 3
    Some Brits in informal contexts say things like Our new sports centre is great! You've got your weight training, your squash courts, and a swimming pool all under one roof! (with the vowel in "your" normally reduced to just a schwa). OP's cited "Dracula" example is a bit further "out there", but not necessarily ridiculous. I certainly wouldn't advise learners to copy it, though. Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 1:42
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    The Dracula example sounds very unnatural to me. Are you sure that whoever wrote this was a native English speaker?
    – stangdon
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 2:33
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    Hi @Pumpkincake, I inserted quotation marks to better identify which pieces of text you were referring to. However, you should cite the actual sources of those texts. Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 4:59
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    You created these examples, didn't you? OR you replaced "His" (the vampire) and "their" (my kids–what an odd and distasteful sentence) with "your". Neither example or experiment makes sense. This is not the generic sense of "your" which I think the question is about i.e. "Doctors will tell you to look after your body if you want to live a long and healthy life"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 5:06
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    ... or the Irish way of saying "Who's your man over there?", where "your man" means "that random guy" with no connection to "you".
    – gotube
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 5:09

1 Answer 1


"You" and "your" can be used as generic personal pronouns that refer to people in general or the 'average' person, similar to the more formal "one".

For example "you need a ticket to enter" means everybody needs a ticket to enter.

Your example with "your" sounds a little odd because the answer isn't phrased exactly the way the question was set, but it certainly can be used that way, for example:

-"How do you know if you've got chicken pox?"
-"Your face is covered in spots".

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