Collective Pronouns

Contrast possession by a group or by its individuals

Paparazzi
 

 

The Group vs. the Individual

THE GROUP

Use a singular pronoun for a group when focusing more on the group.

The paparazzi made its purpose clear. It had a right to be outside her house.

The team took its equipment and went home. It was an unstoppable team, and it won the championship last year.

The Boy Scouts is changing its rules this year.  It will send out notification to each scout.

My family is small.  It consists of four people.

The class has been moved.  It will be in room 44 from now on.

The crowd  is large today.  It has filled up the stadium.

THE INDIVIDUALS

Use a plural pronoun for a group when focusing more on the individuals than the group.

The paparazzi placed their cameras right in her face. They were rude, even mean.

The team took their jackets and went home. They wanted to win, so they played their best game.

The Boy Scouts are hard-working young men.  They are helpful in their communities.

My family is very close.  They love and support me.

The class likes to work together.  They meet after class in the library.

The crowd enjoyed the game.  They shouted and cheered wildly.
 

 

paparazzi (n.) – a photographer or a group who takes candid pictures of celebrities for publication

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

ERROR SOLUTION


Over the years, the company has slowly changed their policy to include healthcare benefits for part-time women caring for children.

 


Over the years, the company has slowly changed its policy to include healthcare benefits for part-time women caring for children.

Over the years, the company has slowly changed their policies to include healthcare benefits for part-time women caring for children.

Is there more than one policy?  Is this about individuals' policies (many) or the company policy (one)?

 

The kids in my class are presenting its projects in the science fair.

My class is presenting its projects in the science fair.
(Focus on class with multiple projects — remove "The kids in".)

The kids in my class are presenting their projects in the science fair. (Focus on kids with multiple projects.)

 

 

 

 

 

Practice

The Group vs. Its Members

 

 

 

Does the context of the sentence refer to the whole or the individual?

  1. Select the option that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Read the feedback for your selection.

 

1.


   

2.
Zipcar.com helps customers rent a car for the day

   

3.
Google is one of the most popular places to work in Silicon Valley.

   

4.


   

5.


   

6.


   

7.


environment – the conditions, influences or feel one gets in the surrounding area

   

8.


profit (n.) – money earned by a company

   

9.


   

10.