Which is the difference between possessor and owner?

hi everyone,

It would be grateful if anyone could me see the light in the following doubt from one yours tests, it is said:

We ask the … of this vehicle to go back to their car as soon as possible and park their car in another space.

(a) possessor
(b) possessing
© ownership
(d) owner

The correct answer is d) owner.

I don’t understand why a) is incorrect: possessor of a vehicle. If you put this entry in Google appears this possibility. If you look possessor up to dictionaries is synonym of owner.

Another question is related to the pronoun their car when it is mentioned owner rather than owners. I have supposed that when we do not know the sex of the owner or we do not want to mention it, we can use their making emphasis that it could be both his and her.

Strictly speaking:
owner - the person who actually owns something.
possessor - the person who has the item in their possession, whether or not they own it.
If this were a hard and fast rule, then you would be correct, but under these circumstances we would not refer to the driver of the car as the possessor.

Although official vehicle documentation draws a distinction between legal owner and the person in charge of a vehicle, that tends to be where the distinction ends. For general everyday purposes we refer to the person who uses the car as the ‘owner’. Even if the car is a leased or company behicle, we tend to say that the driver ‘owns’ it.

Actually, a better answer, though not an option, would be ‘driver’. This is the word used most commonly in these situations in my experience.
“Would the driver of a light blue Ford Fiesta, registration DV07 ESL please return to their car immediately.”

thanks a lot for your quickly reply!!!


In simple dictionary definitions ‘owner’ and ‘possessor’ could be regarded as having the same meaning but ‘possessor’ would not really be used when referring to the owner of a car or any other material thing. ‘Possessor’ would be used more often in relation to abstract nouns like ‘intellect’ ‘beauty’ ‘intelligence’ and so on.

The use of ‘they’ and ‘their’ is to avoid having to say ‘he or she’ and ‘his and her’. We find a sentence like: Every child should feel that they can have an equal chance in life.


I don’t know what possessed me to own up to owning my own car - Ownership must have made me possessive. :frowning:

I don’t like the use of they/them/their to refer to a singular entity, since they/them/their are plural.

We either need a unisex singular pronoun and singular possessive pronoun, or we must come together to thwart the pressures of political correctness and decide that he/him and she/her are not offensive.

It might be painful to choose an actual singular pronoun or possessive pronoun to link with a singular noun, but at least it’s grammatically correct.

One person is not a “they”. One person is a “he” or a “she”. If the sex of the noun is ambiguous (as in, “The person gave ___ dog to the church.”), just pick one: either “his” or “her”.

It would be nice to have a unisex singular pronoun to plug into such situations. Why not create one and promote it?

It has become popular to use plural pronouns to refer to singular nouns… but it isn’t yet requisite. Let’s breathe a breath of fresh air into English usage and end the incorrect employment of the plural pronouns!

Let’s do this! hehe

Hi Prezbucky,

Glad you’re still posting on the site but I must stick up for ‘they’ as the best available pronoun when you don’t know the gender of a noun. Surely you don’t like this ‘his/her’ lark! As for creating a new one, don’t even think about it.