Can you recognize that her lover is a woman from this part of the sentence?

A doctor’s daughter hides her lover--

I am afraid you cannot, or you automatically think it is a man.

In my language, we use a single word for male or female lover, which is what got me into this situation.

Would the next sentence be more understandable?

A doctor’s gay daughter hides her lover--

Would it be better if I use:

A doctor’s daughter hides her gay lover–

Any other suggestions how to write this without that it is too much on the nose? Is there another, single word for a female lover instead of writing her female lover or gay daughter?

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    ...hides her lesbian lover would eliminate the ambiguity even further. I think that would read better, too. – J.R. Mar 6 '17 at 8:43
  • @J.R. I know it is a matter of personal preference, but I think 'her lesbian lover' sounds awful. Syk, is there any reason you need to do this in just one word ie you cant change it to something like 'X hides Y, her lover.' – Spagirl Mar 6 '17 at 10:26
  • You definitely cannot tell from that part of the sentence, but presumably there is more to the sentence and the text it is a part of. Is it absolutely necessary to express that the lover is female at that exact point in the narrative? Otherwise you could say "girlfriend", depending on context and the connotations you're after. – Oosaka Mar 6 '17 at 12:43
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    "A doctor’s daughter hides her 'female' lover", OR "A doctor’s daughter hides her girlfriend". – mahmud koya Mar 6 '17 at 13:31
  • You say that "in [your] language you use one word for male or female lover". Isn't that also the case in English? – WS2 Mar 6 '17 at 15:19

You don't need any special vocabulary here. You can simply say:

A doctor’s daughter hides her female lover ...

This is perfectly fine and idiomatic is probably the closest to the meaning of the sentence in the Original Poster's language. One could easily also say:

  • A doctor’s daughter hides her gay/lesbian lover ...

However, this overtly draws attention to the lover's sexual orientation in a way that the more neutral rendering with female does not.


In English, the female equivalent of gay is lesbian. Well, it depends. If you're speaking informally then gay/lesbian could be both used. If speaking formally, you can use homosexual

  • 3
    I'm not sure I'd agree that it's "more grammatically correct." – J.R. Mar 6 '17 at 11:11
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    @J.R. "semantically correct" might be a better way of phrasing that ? – Oosaka Mar 6 '17 at 12:40
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    @RozennKeribin and even in that case I would say it's iffy at best. While gay is used more for homosexual men it is not exclusively so. See also english.stackexchange.com/questions/47951/… – DRF Mar 6 '17 at 13:11

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