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Is audience singular or plural?

During the final minutes of his speech,the speaker requested the audience to hold its applause.

Is the usage of 'its' correct in the sentence. Should it be replaced with 'their' ?

I am not sure of using 'its' because, the audience are not inanimate(like stones).

marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Jul 25 '12 at 9:51

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Their can be used to refer to stones, too. So the distinction between its vs. their is not one between inanimate vs. animate. It's a question of whether you regard the audience as singular or plural. Which is covered in the linked question. – RegDwigнt Jul 25 '12 at 9:55

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