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I am sending a resource to two group leaders who have the option of sharing it. Which, if either, of the below are correct:

They can put it on their respective groups' websites.

They can put it on their respective group's websites.

Since each website only belongs to one group, I would think the second is correct. However, "websites" here is a collection of two things, so the first might also be right.

Please include an explanation with your answer.

  • Please do not answer in comments. – user1717828 Dec 1 '15 at 16:26
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The key here isn't whether "websites" is a collection, but whether "groups" is. Additionally, you want to the keep website singular if each group has only one website.

They can put it on their respective group's website.

From the context, it seems clear that this is the right way to go. Each leader is responsible for one group (so you want the singular possessive form, "group's") and each group has one website.

Your first sentence would be reasonable if each leader were responsible for multiple groups.

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I would rather say

They can put it on their respective group's website.

Because each member has only one group and each group has only one website.

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