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I doubt that this sentence is correct.

Tutorials Point (I) Pvt. Ltd provides no guarantee regarding the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of our website or its contents including this tutorial.

I asked the writer/author and he said the sentence is correct.

I think he should have used its and not our. Am I right or wrong? If someone knows why please explain why our is correct and give more examples.

  • If you use its, then the second its will refer to the supplier. – Mick Jan 11 '18 at 8:18
  • @Mick. Can you explain it more? – Shakiba Moshiri Jan 11 '18 at 8:19
  • I don't have the expertise to provide a full answer. However, if you remove "of our website*, you may see what I'm getting at. With our, its refers to the website. If you use its twice, then the conjunction or becomes ambiguous. – Mick Jan 11 '18 at 8:22
  • Whose website is it? Yours, or Tutorials Point (I) Pvt. Ltd? – Mick Jan 11 '18 at 8:26
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    The use of the third person singular form of the verb provide together with the word our is what makes the sentence wrong. If the verb is changed from provides to provide there is no inconsistency since the company name would then become a plural entity and our would be a suitable pronoun. With the use of the third person singular form of the verb the OP is right that the pronoun should be its to match. Either approach is correct but consistency is necessary. – BoldBen Jan 11 '18 at 12:04
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Your question asks about the use of the plural pronoun our to refer to the company.

The use of plural pronouns to represent collective nouns—such as company, team, division, department, or unit—works fine to emphasize the individuals in the organization. - Business Writing

They provide the following examples (emphasis in original):

  • We at Company X wish to express our sincere appreciation for Company Y’s continued support.
  • Brooks & Rice have lost their lease. They are now looking for a new location. (citing Gregg)

The link goes on to cite The Gregg Reference Manual, The Chicago Manual of Style, and The Associated Press Stylebook to support both singular and plural agreement in these situations.

You can think of the company as the collection of individuals it represents (whether shareholders, directors, officers and/or staff, etc). It's this collection that asserts the lack of a guarantee in your example. Since the writer is writing on behalf of the company, using a first-person pronoun works.

On the other hand, you are also free to consider the company as a monolithic 'individual', so calling the website 'its website' as you propose is also ok. In that case, however, you need to be careful to distinguish whether 'its contents' referred to later are the company's contents or the website's contents.

You should, however, be consistent - either "provide ... our" or "provides ... its", but not "provides ... our". The link above notes this with the following problematic example (the asterisks below denote a problematic portion - both should be singular or both should be plural):

  • Company X *wishes to express *our sincere appreciation for Company Y’s continued support.

In my opinion, "Company X wish" sounds decidedly odd. I'd prefer either "We at Company X *wish" or "Company X wishes ... its".

  • I have no problem with considering a company name as a plural name. It is acceptable. But what about the verb? If we say we is correct then the verb is not. – Shakiba Moshiri Jan 11 '18 at 8:59
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    very good link. – Shakiba Moshiri Jan 11 '18 at 9:15
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    @k-five Thanks. I see you've raised the question there as well now :) . Just a note about how it sounds - the original phrasing sounded fine to me on first presentation. Technically, there's a problem with agreement, but it sounds ok here. Perhaps it could be argued that the monolithic company provides no guarantees of the website its members (hence "our") maintain. – Lawrence Jan 11 '18 at 9:42
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    The ebook have been written in British Grammar and I am learning US. I noted that it is okay with British Grammar. They are allowed to use this inconsistency. – Shakiba Moshiri Jan 11 '18 at 10:08
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    @k-five Good ol' BrE :) . Note that if the sentence has no context, the "our" might not even be the company. Suppose C commissioned W to make a website. Then C could say, "W provides no guarantees about our (C's) website ...". Or to pick a more relevant example, Stack Exchange provides no guarantees about the accuracy of our (the community's) answers. :) – Lawrence Jan 11 '18 at 10:11
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Summary:

The use of our is not strictly correct, but as noted in comments the use of its can become ambiguous in meaning. However, the verb provides is in the singular form which does not fit with our.


Further thinking:

Tutorials Point (I) Pvt. Ltd provides no guarantee regarding the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of our website or its contents including this tutorial.

Consider as an alternative to fit with the use of our:

We provide no guarantee regarding the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of our website or its contents including this tutorial.

and so

We (Tutorials Point (I) Pvt. Ltd) provide no guarantee regarding the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of our website or its contents including this tutorial.

So instead of the pronoun we they use the company name, but then to fit with the use of our they should actually use provide instead of provides.

Using the singular form provides with the company name (which is often regarded as a singular entity) then, despite ambiguity, our should be replaced by its, but it is also common for a company name to be treated as plural which works with our but not with provides.

Tutorials Point (I) Pvt. Ltd provides no guarantee regarding the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of its website or its contents including this tutorial.

compared to a person where there is not ambiguity:

John Smith provides no guarantee regarding the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of his website or its contents including this tutorial.

So, to fit with provides they should really use its, or a common alternative their which is also often used for both singular and plural references.

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    I agree with you if the verb provides was plural. But It is singular too. Since verb is singular anyone who reads the sentence quickly will think that the subject is singular. In fact if we agree our is correct then we should say provides is wrong. – Shakiba Moshiri Jan 11 '18 at 8:51
  • Yes, I have made some edits with the aim of adding clarity. – Mick Jan 11 '18 at 8:58
  • This answer seems to assume British English. In US English we never use plural verbs with a company name, but we nonetheless often use plural pronouns; something like "Mozilla has released a new version of their Firefox browser" is the US equivalent of British "Mozilla have [...]". – ruakh Jan 11 '18 at 16:16

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