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"Cada sociedad tiene sus leyes."

Translation:Each society has its laws.

December 25, 2013

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mallearn

"Each society has their laws". Can someone tell me how this is incorrect? Am I violating some obscure rule of "proper" English or something of the sort?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dholman

"each x has" is talking in the singular. So, "its laws".

If it was going to be "their laws", in the plural, it would have to be "all xs have".

It's not obscure.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JBranch1998

If people use it and are understood when doing so it is correct. "Each society," a group of people, "has their (own) laws." Therefore "their" arises out of the view that the collective noun "society" is made up of component people parts, adding a degree of personhood. In addition, the argument that "their" is strictly meant to be used as a plural pronoun has long been null and void.

This is a very enlightening discussion on the subject - http://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/49292/do-we-use-its-or-their-with-a-collective-noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Onkel116553

Therefore "their" arises out of the view that the collective noun "society" is made up of component people parts [...]

So "society" is sort of plural, but not for the verb? Either has its or have their - has their sounds as wrong as have its.

In addition, the argument that "their" is strictly meant to be used as a plural pronoun has long been null and void.

Probably because it's not a pronoun ;-). Would you also say they is standing next to you or they has a red car?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/circumbendibus

Generally I support the use of "they" as a gender-neutral third person singular pronoun. English has no alternative, and it's been done for hundreds of years. However, I personally would not use "their" here because a society is a thing, not a person: an "it", not a "they". Most of the arguments here seem valid in at least some way, but I don't see any "their" supporters explicitly mention the support IN SPITE of a society being a thing. I'm curious where they stand.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dunk999

I wouldn't say that there's no alternative for a third person gender neutral pronoun. "One" is used. However, I almost always use "they" anyway, as "one" sounds too stuffy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/circumbendibus

One only refers to a general person, not a specific person. It's more obvious when you consider that its plural is "some".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dunk999

Also, sometimes people use "you" as a general third person pronoun. But, it's true. Neither "you" nor "they" apply to this sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/usrNameAlredyTkn

i don't see that, "so·ci·e·ty səˈsīədē/ noun 1. the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community. synonyms: the community, the (general) public, the people, the population; civilization, humankind, mankind, humanity"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Onkel116553

And in what way is an aggregate a person and not a thing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BlytheMayn

society is a singular word, it should be "its" even though "their" has become widely used and acceptable. It is technically incorrect. If it were "many societies have their own laws" it would be a plural subject.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/crisjordan22

I have noticed that more educated people use a singular verb for a singular noun for a group of people. ie they use the technically correct way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NicholasM.15

If something has been widely used and acceptable, then it isn't wrong. Why try to convince millions of native speakers that they are not speaking their language correctly?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnSmith196982

Interesting subject. I put every society has it's laws. I got failed because I put an apostrophe in (it's)... Would some kind person explain this to an old cockney boy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tessbee

John, lentalaga is wrong. "It's" is actually incorrect here because it's a contraction of "It is" (like, "It is the law" = "It's the law").

The Duo sentence uses the possessive "its (without the apostrophe), the kind that owns something (like your, his, her, my, etc).
"your law" = the law of JohnSmith
"his law" = the law of Señor Owl
"her law" = the law of Señora Owl
"my law" = the law of tessbee
"its law" = the law of each society

but

"It's the law that nobody cares about" = It is the law that nobody cares about.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

There are two things which make its/it's confusing:

  1. The rule for forming contractions of pronouns followed by the verbs is or has requires that the pronoun be followed by 's.

he is - he's
she is - she's it is - it's

  1. The rule of possessives requires adding 's to a singular word to make it possessive: the cat's meow.

However, all pronouns used in conjugating verbs have their spelling changed to make them possessive rather than adding 's - except for it:

I - my
you - your
he - his
she - her
we - our
they -their
but
it - its

The problem here is that, if you try to impose both rules on it, you end up with ambiguity: it's the contraction would be spelled the same as it's the possessive.

So, to clarify the ambiguity, English grammar sets the contraction rule above the possessive rule, and it's is declared to mean it is or it has (as in it's got to be one of the stupidest rules of English ), and its is declared to be the possessive. There is no reason to give contractions priority, they just are.

The result, again however, is that "its" violate the rule on possessives. Unfortunately, the spelling has to be that way, because otherwise there would be even more confusion, and English grammar is confusing enough as is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dennis859795

Gotta love when you're using Duolingo for Spanish and end up learning something about your native language instead. Thanks for this explanation! I've never been totally clear on the nature of the it's/its ambiguity.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdes596

Anarchic societies tho


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Johngt44

I am astounded that no-one has reported that their translation, "Each high society has her assay value" was marked incorrect. Come on, Duo linguists! Use the hints given, and let your imaginations run wild!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Onkel116553

Or even Each company has your assay value. What does that even mean?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/peru1359

I think that its is not plural but the possessive of it as it refers back to the society so it's laws.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CatMcCat

"It's" is the contraction for "it is." The possessive for "it" is "its".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angelMatem

Podemos armar un grupo de WhatsApp para practicar ambos idiomas. Podemos escribir y hablar por WhatsApp, We can create a what's app group to practice both Languages. We can write and talk. My tel number is :58165458. My name is Angel I live in Argentina.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HarpoChico

Well almost all of them in any case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stsmith50

I wrote each society has its laws and Duolingo marked it wrong????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bill43219

how many times do I have to get it right


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bill43219

I've written ti right five times WHATS WRONG

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