There is a photo of a baby girl with her brother but the baby can't be much Of differentiated as a girl or boy.
What would it be right to say?
It is a girl. Or
She is a girl.

  • 8
    Theoretically both. A proud father announcing the birth would often say "It is a girl!". If someone looked at the photo and mistook her as a boy, he might correct this person saying "She is a girl." (emphasising the "she").
    – skymningen
    Nov 28 '13 at 8:04

You can use it if you don't know the baby's gender, but using it when referring to someone's child is not very polite. If you know the baby's name/gender, it is recommended to use he/she, or even they (to avoid being impolite).

  • 8
    "It's a girl" is close to be an idiom, I would not be offended
    – mplungjan
    Nov 28 '13 at 8:18
  • 1
    These companies disagree :) goo.gl/XdDCGn
    – mplungjan
    Nov 28 '13 at 8:56
  • 6
    More to the point, the it does not refer to the baby, it's a dummy pronoun. As skymninge pointed out, you'd only really use "she is a girl" for emphasis, when correcting someone for example. Other than that, it just makes no sense to use it because "she" already implies "girl". What else would she be? A boy? A crocodile?
    – RegDwigнt
    Nov 28 '13 at 9:41
  • 4
    @Matt: I might. When you ask "who's at the door?" the answer isn't "he's the postman" (or "she's the postman") but "it's the postman". As RegDwight says, this is a dummy "it". Nov 28 '13 at 13:45
  • 1
    @Matt: Given your further explanation, I think we more or less agree. Nov 28 '13 at 13:56

As mplungjan noted in a comment thread, the phrase "It's a girl!" is very common on greeting cards, balloons and other celebratory items and would be considered the standard idiom for announcing the gender of a newborn child. But this is the only circumstance where "it" is remotely appropriate.

In the particular context you have provided, the appropriate phrase would be:

She is a girl

However, that doesn't stop people from being rude and using alternatives. If you saw an androgynous person in a crowd, it is relatively common to exclaim:

That's a girl?!


I never saw a problem in referring to a child as "it" because you don't know its gender. Why are we even imposing gender roles on babies anyway? The PC crowd is usually the one who makes a big deal of not referring to children as "it", as if it's offensive....

  • 1
    How would you feel if I called your two-year-old child "it"? Much depends on the definition of the OP's " baby girl", is she an infant, or a toddler?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 19 '16 at 11:12

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