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Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular pronoun (“his” versus “her” versus “their”)?

In the sentence ‘Everyone should make everyone’s part’, what adjective possessive pronoun should replace the word everyone’s?

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Conventionally, his. Alternatively, their. –  Cerberus Jan 13 '13 at 21:16
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That's a very odd example usage. Did you perhaps mean Everyone should play his part? –  FumbleFingers Jan 13 '13 at 21:27
    
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marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, tchrist, Barrie England, Kristina Lopez, MετάEd Jan 13 '13 at 22:23

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2 Answers

"Everyone" is singular, so the following are all acceptable:

Everyone should make his part.

Everyone should make his or her part.

Everyone should make her or his part.

Everyone should make her part.

Everyone should make their part.

"Her or his" or "her" would sometimes be used to combat male-positive gender bias. "Her" or "his" might also be used in a non-offensive way when referring to a group made up only of females or males. The last option, "their", is still shunned by some purists, but is gaining sway as a gender-neutral singular possessive pronoun.

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The word would be "their" as in:

"Everyone should make their part."

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