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Can "individual" be referred to as "it"? Or only he/she/they?

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It's generally inappropriate to refer to an individual as "it". "It" is used to refer to an unintelligent/unthinking target.

If referring to a human individual of unknown gender, use singular "they". It is usually acceptable to refer to an animal as "it" if the gender is unknown

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  • But what about the word "individual" itself? Namely, is it grammatically correct to say "each individual can reach its full potential"? Or should it be "they" in this case? Thanks. Feb 27, 2019 at 22:40
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"It's a boy" or "It's a girl" is commonly used to refer to a newborn of previously unknown gender. However, as Mattark noted, "it" is inappropriate to refer to anyone older.

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