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3answers
307 views

Is English “genderless” or are inanimate nouns just neuter by default?

Some questions on ELU already touch on this subject, and they pose that English does not have grammatical gender which means that most of its inanimate nouns are referred to with it rather than he or ...
3
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3answers
142 views

Referring to something belonging to goblin: is it “its” thing or “his” thing? [closed]

I'm writing tutorial for fantasy game with said goblin acting as an example. Now, I need to relate to the thing belonging to that goblin, let's say it's an apple. Is it his apple or its apple? Shall I ...
4
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1answer
369 views

Terms for “natural gender” and “grammatical gender”

This post is partly inspired by previous posts, such as this one, on non-existence of grammatical gender in English. My question is mainly about what "natural gender" and "grammatical gender" are to ...
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1answer
73 views

indefinite article plus proper name in organizational (i.e. business or bureaucracy) contexts

The use of the indefinite article with a proper name occurs often in business or organizational speech-contexts: We're lucky to have a Bill Jones to get the job done. The article plus proper ...
3
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2answers
3k views

Using 'her' vs. 'its' to refer to a country

I am currently reading Liddell Hart's "History of the Second World War", and I'm wondering why he sometimes uses her/she when talking about Japan. In my understanding of English, it should be its or ...
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6answers
934 views

Is there a female or gender-neutral equivalent to the colloquial “man”?

I don't know how to define the usage of man I'm talking about*, so I'll do it with examples: Hey, man, what's up? C'mon, man, don't make me do this. Is there a female or gender-neutral ...
4
votes
3answers
388 views

“à la” + masculine

I'd like to say I'm baking a cake à la Ramsey. Here, à la means in the style of. My problem is: what if Ramsey is male? The French la goes with feminine nouns. So, should I write the following? ...
4
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1answer
312 views

Why do only a few English demonyms indicate gender?

A friend recently pondered why Latino/Latina inflects according to gender. I suggested that it's because Latino is a loanword from a language with grammatical gender, but he found it odd that other ...
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1answer
246 views

Pronouns and declension for merged/hermaphroditic entities

I have a pair of friends who since entering into a relationship have become rather disgustingly effusive and clingy, to the point where people around them have begun referring them an 'it' [singular], ...
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3answers
489 views

Who is whose sister or brother? [duplicate]

You might like our sister site, English Language Learners I have read this time and time again in replies to users who ask questions which are not a good fit for EL&U but are so for ELL. I ...
23
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1answer
4k views

Why don't English nouns have grammatical gender?

English nouns — other than those with natural gender, e.g. people or animals — do not generally have grammatical gender, and so are referred to as 'it' rather than 'he' or 'she'. However, modern ...