Question about English

sister herb

Official TTI Chef
Headline as: Family says Israeli jailers poured boiling oil on its son

is "its" right by this or should it be as their?

Comment in other forum:

Family says Israeli jailers poured boiling oil on its son ...???
very bad use of english.... either ,...on son,or on their son...

Is it ok to use as "its" as it refer to singular noun as family?


Junior Member

The family has its car.

own can also be put there as -- the family has its own car.

Here family is possessive noun and 'its' denote possession.

~ I see such grammatical usage. mistake has room


Assalaam walaikum,

You want to make language as clear as you can. By using the possessive adjective their son it is easy for the reader. Its can be used if the family is singular. Most of the time we understand family to be a plural unit. We infrequently will we use family as a singular unit.

Purpose of language: keep it simple and clear.

sister herb

Official TTI Chef

This is part of my work as super moderator of one forum;

its or their or both or what is better English?



Assalaam walaikum,

Their is better. It refers to the family. Most of the time family is a plural, made up of many members.

You can use its if you think the family is one unit.

In English its tricky.
Army is many and army is one unit.

You have to decide if you are thinking of many than you would use the plural possessive pronouns.

If you are thinking of one is singular.