When I took French in school I remember there being a confusion with leur and leurs around sentences such as "the men went to their cars" where there was a difference between each man going to his own individual car versus the cars being collectively owned by the group of men.
Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Or is it just "les hommes sont allés à leurs voitures" for both?
No, you are right there is an 'idiomatic' manner of expression using leur/leurs with plural possessions. As in English, there are ambiguities and multiple combinations of possession not clearly expressed with a simple statement. Context is important and clarification can need additional information - in speech, of course, the listener will likely ask you quite quickly when the message is unclear !
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I agree with Maarten. In general, French speakers usually take the position of the individual (with ensuing use of the singular), whereas English speakers look at the entire group and use the plural.
To supplement on the answers you have already received, see the following link to a previous answer: leur-lettre-or-leurs-lettres
I hope this is helpful.
Bonne journée !
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