This is Everyday Grammar. I'm Kaveh.
And I'm Lucija. Today we are going to talk about some changes in pronoun usage.
Hey Lucija, you wouldn't believe what happened to me this morning.
Are you OK?
Of course I'm OK, silly. Look what I've found. Someone left his wallet on the train. But there's no ID so I don't know who to return it to.
Well Kaveh, how do you know if the owner is a he? It could belong to a woman.
OK fine. Someone left his or her wallet on the train.
Well, sometimes you don't know if you're talking about a man or a woman. This can cause some confusion with pronouns. In the past, we used he for all people.
Everyone has his own opinion.
Everyone has his own opinion. （每个人都有他自己的看法。）
But just using his excludes women. So starting in the 1970s, people started using his or her.
Everyone has his or her own opinion.
Everyone has his or her own opinion.（每个人都有他/她自己的看法。）
These days, more people are using their to refer to men and women.
Everyone has their own opinion.
Everyone has their own opinion. （每个人都有她们自己的看法。）
Wait, wait, wait. You can't say everyone has their…! Everyone is singular and there is plural.
You're right. But grammar is always changing. These days a lot of publications are using their, they and them as singular pronouns.
So it's OK to say "Everyone had their…"
所以，“Everyone had their….”这种说法也是可以的。
Well, it depends. It is certainly becoming more popular. But when it comes to changing grammar rules, everyone has his…her…or their own opinion.
And that's Everyday Grammar.