Questions regarding the grammatical gender of English words.

There are three genders in English: masculine, feminine, and inanimate/unsexed.

For example, masculine he, feminine she, and inanimate or unsexed it.

Some grammars use neuter for the inanimate cases, but that word does apply to English, and is a vestige of Latin grammar being inappropriately imposed on English.

For another example: boy, girl, and child are respectively masculine, feminine, and unsexed words for the same concept. Many speakers prefer to use they for human antecedents of unknown gender, because calling them it consigns them to inanimate or at best inhuman status. See .

history | excerpt history