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its vs. their



 
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its vs. their #1 (permalink) Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:27 am   its vs. their
 

English Grammar Tests, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #286 "Basic Grammar Exercises (11)", question 1

The cat hit ......... ball of yarn.

(a) it's
(b) its
(c) their
(d) them

English Grammar Tests, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #286 "Basic Grammar Exercises (11)", answer 1

The cat hit its ball of yarn.

Correct answer: (b) its

Your answer was: correct
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Hello,

Both Answer (b) and Answer (c) can be fitted into the sentence grammatically. Could you please explain why Answer (b) is preferred and justified?

Thank you.

Best wishes,
Bhikkhu1991a.
Bhikkhu1991a
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Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 441

its vs. their #2 (permalink) Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:50 am   its vs. their
 

The correct answer is (b) 'its' because the cat is singular. Therefore, 'its' is the correct option if we assume that the ball of yarn belongs to the cat.
However, I can see how the option 'their' might be confusing.
"Their" could be referring to the (cat's) owners' etc. ball of yarn.
Good catch - we'll change that right away.
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