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I wonder why option (C) is wrong? I think it is still possible that the possessive pronoun “hers” is used to replace “her birthday”

Ms. Greelay’s colleagues, who discovered that her birthday is on Thursday, are preparing a special celebration for ----------- (A) her (B) she (C) hers (D) herself

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    In examples like yours, genitive "hers" typically serves as complement to "of", not "for", for example "I'll never forget that birthday of hers last year". But in this case, where someone is the recipient of something, the preposition "for" requires the accusative pronoun "her".
    – BillJ
    Sep 15, 2019 at 16:38
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    It's got to be the accusative her because the only credible preceding referent for her is Ms Greelay, and that makes sense. The possessive hers has no credible antecedent - to fill that slot would require a preceding reference to either multiple birthdays, or someone else's birthday (so hers could be used to identify her birthday as distinct from any others). For example, Ms. Greelay’s colleagues, who attach great importance to birthdays, are preparing a special celebration for hers (where hers refers back to birthdays). Sep 15, 2019 at 16:49
  • I'd leave off the 'for anything'. It's implicit. Sep 15, 2019 at 18:18

2 Answers 2

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If the pronoun is supposed to mean "her birthday," then C is the only right answer. It's the only one that can mean "her birthday."

If the right answer is A, then it doesn't mean "her birthday" but means "Ms. Greelay."

Anyway, you might hear that sentence with "hers" in a context of:

Mr. Johnson's colleagues know it's his birthday on Thursday and aren't doing anything special for his birthday. Ms. Greelay’s colleagues, who discovered that her birthday is on Thursday, are preparing a special celebration for hers.

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It's her (A) is correct. Why? "her" is a pronoun. "herself" can be grammatically used, but it isn't supposed to be in the context.

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