"Ellos van a poner su mano aquí."
Translation:They are going to put their hand here.
Hi. Didn't we have something similar to this with "talking behind their backs"? In English, we pluralize the word "back", but in Spanish it is used in a singular form "su espalda". So I'm thinking this is the same situation here. English would pluralize "their hands", but Spanish would say "his hand". So I think it has something to do with different rules of grammar for each language.
If you were in a court room in order to be grammatically correct you would have to either say "They will put their hands here (on the Bible)" OR "Each person will put his or her hand here (on the Bible)" but you can never say "They will put their hand here (on the Bible)" because the implication is there is only a single hand shared between the entire group.
Think of it this way.
Bob, Joe, and Jim live in the same house and share ownership of a single car. You can say, "They use their car to commute work" and be correct.
However what if:
Bob has his own car, and he drives it to work.
Joe has his own car, and he drives it to work.
Jim has his own car, and he drives it to work.
You must say, "They use their cars to commute work," even though each man is only driving one car (his own), because that is the only correct way of saying it.
If you said, "They use their car to commute work" the implication is that Bob, Joe, and Jim share ownership of a single car and in this last example that is not the case.
Regardless, sharing ownership is possible with a car. It is NEVER possible with a hand, which is why in NO case could you ever say, "They will put their hand here" and be correct.
If you really must insist on specifying that each person will only use ONE hand, you cannot use the plural pronoun "they" and the plural possessive adjective "their". You must change the sentence to use a singular pronoun such as "Each person" or "Each one" and use the singular possessive adjective "his or her" because that is the only correct way, in English, of saying "hand" in this case.
I don't know why people get confused by these sentences. If you think it is "strange" then try to imagine when someone would say this.
For example, an art class was working together to make one hand sculpture for an exhibit. I could then say the sentence, "Ellos van a poner su mano aquí."
If that is still too abstract for you, "su" can also be her/his/your (formal). Replace "their" with any of those words and you will see the sentence isn't as strange as you are making it out to be.
I think you have had the best comment to this discussion thread. This sentence sounds like someone is receiving instruction in modeling, before a photo shoot. Or, I suppose it could be instructions given from the Mafia boss. :) Either way, I don't see that we need to be concerned over a group of people sharing one hand. We all use very individualized sentences in everyday life that, when taken out of context, make no sense to others.
This is wrong in English, but not in Spanish, and I want to explain why once and for all. I posted this comment in Spanish under the English for Spanish-speakers module but I want to put it here as well.
Pronouns, verbs, possessive adjectives, and the elements they possess must be in agreement.
The problem here is that people are confusing the English idea of "Each one" with "Them". They are separate things grammatically.
"Each one" is singular and for that reason requires a singular form of the verb ("is"), a singular possessive adjective ("his or her"), and a singular element ("hand").
However, the pronoun "Them" is plural and requires a plural form of the verb ("are"), a plural possessive adjective ("their"), and a plural element ("hands").
Yes, you can use a singular element (for example, "house") with a plural pronoun and verb, but only when the element ("house") is a shared possession between members of the entire group.
You can say (with a singular pronoun, verb, and adjective):
"Cada uno (de ellos) va a poner su mano aquí."
"Cada uno (de ellos) va a poner la mano suya aquí."
"Each one (of them) is going to put his or her hand here."
...and you can use "hand" as singular in this case and it would be correct and make sense.
However, if you say "Them" in English, you must utilize the plural of everything (even if each person is only going to put one hand "here") and it would be:
"They are going to put their hands here."
The reason why you can never use the singular "hand" in English with "Them" in this case is because it implies "the hand" belongs to the entire group, for example,
"They are going to put their hand here."
How is it possible for one person to share a single hand?
There is a lot of confusion with respect to this question, and for this reason let's use "the house" in please of "the hand", because I think it's more clear:
"They are going to put their house here."
That is possible to say, because it means there is only one house, and "they" all own it together, and a group of people can certainly share ownership of a single house.
But a group of people cannot share ownership of a single hand!
I hope this helps!
IF you are still unclear, here is further clarification I left under the English for Spanish speakers version of this sentence:
I see there is great confusion regarding the concept of possession in the comments.
The problem is that here it is impossible for THREE DIFFERENT PEOPLE to jointly possess ONE SINGLE HAND and for that reason the phrase must use "HANDS" and not "HAND".
"They" is a pronoun, so let's use names instead. Let's say "They" means "Jill, Sue and Joe."
Now substitute "Jill, Sue, and Joe" for "They" and you will see why this phrase is wrong.
"Jill, Sue y Joe are going to put their hand here."
Seriously? That would mean that between Jill, Sue, and Joe there was only ONE hand --- their hand --- and the three of them somehow share possession of it!
Here is another example, I hope will be more clear:
"Jill, Sue y Joe are going to sell their house."
Okay, this would mean that between Jill, Sue and Joe there was only ONE house --- their house --- and the three of them own it, that is to say, the three of them share ownership of a SINGLE house. If that is the case, the phrase is correct.
However, if Jill owns ONE house and if Sue owns ONE (different) house and if Joe owns ONE (different) house --- that is, there are THREE houses, but each person only owns ONE --- you would say:
"Jill, Sue y Joe are going to sell their houses."
In this case you would not say: "Jill, Sue y Joe are going to sell their house" because that phrase implies there is only ONE house IN TOTAL and the three of them share ownership, or it is their communal property.
Even though each person only owns ONE house, and each person is trying to sell only ONE house, despite this you say HOUSES not HOUSE because each person owns their own house!
Lastly if you want to say "HAND" (and not "HANDS") you would have to change the phrase from "They" and "their" to "Each person" and "his or her", for example,
"EACH PERSON is going to put HIS OR HER hand here."
But you can NEVER say ""THEY are going to put THEIR hand here" because how can only a SINGLE hand be the property of an entire group?
I hope this clarifies things because I see there is a lot of confusion in the comments. I hope DuoLingo fixes this, because in English it's wrong (whereas in Spanish it's right).
It's the "their" version of the English translation that has everyone's panties in a twist. Since "su" can also mean "your," and since this sounded at least grammatically logical, that's what I used, and that's what was accepted. Similarly, so would "his" and "her" work. "They are going to put your hand here [and then kiss it]." Etc.
I agree with you. I really hope this has a non-direct translation, which is why it's causing so much confusion! Otherwise it's just another wacky DL sentence :(
Maybe it means something like "They're going to make their mark here," or maybe if someone asks what part of a project "they" are going to work on, someone would reply "They're going to put their hand here."
This sentence seams strange...as if the group in reference is going to put a collective/shared hand somewhere instead of each person in a group putting their hands somewhere. I suppose the sentence is technically correct as is, but would a native speaker rather say 'Ellos van a poner sus manos aquí'?