Can we replace 'its' with 'their'? If yes, when can we do this? To know if they are truly interchangeable or not, don't waste another minute and read this part.

"Its" vs. "Their" in the English Grammar

What Is Their Difference?

Both 'its' and 'their' are determiners. 'Its' is singular, and 'their' is plural. So, the basic rule is to use 'its' with singular nouns and 'their' with plural nouns.

Collective Nouns

Collective nouns are nouns we use to talk about groups of things, animals, or people. When we want to refer back to these nouns, we can either use 'its' or 'their', but with a slight difference.
Consider these two sentences:

The CBS network is recruiting its news reporters.

The CBS network are recruiting their news reporters.

The CBS network is a singular noun, but both of these examples are considered grammatically correct. How?
It all comes down to whether you consider the CBS network as a single unit or a collective noun.

If you want to refer to all members of a collective noun as one single unit, you can use 'its' to refer to it. But, if you want to refer to every single member of a collective noun as different individuals, you can use 'their' to refer to them.

Plural-only Nouns

Plural-Only Nouns refers to those nouns in English that almost always appear in the plural form and normally do not have a singular form. For these nouns, we must always use plural verbs, pronouns, etc.

The clothes seem old and shabby, but their price is high.

Tip!

However, you might hear singular determiners for referring back to plural-only nouns, especially in spoken or informal English. Remember that technically it is not grammatically correct.

Look at my new jeans. Its buttons are gold!

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