Which is the correct one of these two examples? I tried to say no one of them can achieve his or her own dream.

  1. Neither Alex nor Ali can achieve his/her dream

  2. Neither Alex nor Ali can achieve them dream

  • 1
    Welcome to English Language & Usage. Which do you think is correct, and why? What references have you tried? This question might get the correct attention at our sister site, ell.stackexchange.com .
    – rajah9
    Sep 27, 2019 at 10:50
  • Them dream is wrong in any context. When speaking of more than one person, possibly of different sexes, you can say their dream. Sep 27, 2019 at 12:19

2 Answers 2


Neither Alex nor Ali can achieve their dream. If they are unsuccessfully pursuing a dream put forward by one of them it matters which: John dreams of being able to fly. Neither Alex nor Ali can achieve his dream.


I would say,

Neither Alex nor Ali can achieve her dream.

The pronoun will refer to the subject closest to it. In this case, pronoun refers to Ali.

  • Please explain why. It would be helpful to the OP and to future visitors if you could explain the error(s), if any, in the OP's examples.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 27, 2019 at 10:59
  • The feminine possessive pronoun is her but how do we know that Alex or Ali is a female? The name Alex is ambiguous, it could be short for Alexander or Alexandra.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 27, 2019 at 11:14
  • I assume that Alex is male while Ali is female. (Because the OP said his/her, respectively).
    – Hydes
    Sep 27, 2019 at 11:32
  • Since Ali is a female, I would use "her". Do you think it's correct?
    – Hydes
    Sep 27, 2019 at 11:38
  • 2
    But by using only "her", in your solution, the listener will presume that Alex and Ali are females.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 27, 2019 at 11:39

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