Discussion:
each of them tells the other one
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a***@gmail.com
2019-11-12 07:35:24 UTC
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1) He thinks each of his parents is afraid to tell the other one that they
don't love them and break their heart.

2) He thinks each of his parents is afraid to tell the other one that he or
she doesn't love her or him and break her or his heart.

Which is grammatical?
Which is idiomatic?

I suppose Eric will reject '1' because of 'them' and 'their'.

I don't think I like either of them. There must be a more elegant way to do
this.

Gratefully,
Navi
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2019-11-12 09:10:27 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) He thinks each of his parents is afraid to tell the other one that they
don't love them and break their heart.
2) He thinks each of his parents is afraid to tell the other one that he or
she doesn't love her or him and break her or his heart.
Which is grammatical?
Both, I suppose.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Which is idiomatic?
2 is horrible. 1 is more or less OK, but it's not clear how "and break
their heart" fits in. A partial fix might be "He thinks each of his
parents is afraid to break the other one's heart by telling that they
don't love them any more".
Post by a***@gmail.com
I suppose Eric will reject '1' because of 'them' and 'their'.
I don't think I like either of them. There must be a more elegant way to do
this.
Gratefully,
Navi
--
athel
Eric Walker
2019-11-12 10:30:03 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) He thinks each of his parents is afraid to tell the other one that
they don't love them and break their heart.
2) He thinks each of his parents is afraid to tell the other one that he
or she doesn't love her or him and break her or his heart.
Which is grammatical?
Which is idiomatic?
I suppose Eric will reject '1' because of 'them' and 'their'.
Just so. And in any event, the pronomial antecedents are indefinite,
though one can eventually make one's way out of the maze.
Post by a***@gmail.com
I don't think I like either of them. There must be a more elegant way
to do this.
Maybe:

"He thinks his parents each fear to break the other's heart by saying
that their love has died." (Or never really was?)

There, one can take "their" to refer to the couple (and thus the mutual
love once experienced, or supposedly experienced, by them); but even a
modern illiterate can be satisfied with "their" as referring to some one
of the pair.
--
Cordially,
Eric Walker
Peter T. Daniels
2019-11-12 15:12:10 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
1) He thinks each of his parents is afraid to tell the other one that they
don't love them and break their heart.
2) He thinks each of his parents is afraid to tell the other one that he or
she doesn't love her or him and break her or his heart.
Which is grammatical?
Which is idiomatic?
word salad
Post by a***@gmail.com
I suppose Eric will reject '1' because of 'them' and 'their'.
I don't think I like either of them. There must be a more elegant way to do
this.
to do what??

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