I don't know why they instead of he is used in this sentence and is this correct at all?

*A person who gets angry when they have to wait is impatient


They is used here just to be careful about the gender of the "person", as it is not clear whether the person is a male ("he") or female ("she").

Person is a generic word and could be both male or female.
Although, yes, "He" has been used as a default pronoun for all the genders, especially when one is not specific, but the nowadays, with people being extra sensitive about sexism and gender equality, it is preferred not to use a specific masculine pronoun.

  • Can't we use "it" in these types of situations? – Ali Noormohammadi Mar 26 at 7:14
  • No, it is used for things, or animals, but never for a human. – Bella Swan Mar 26 at 7:16
  • @BellaSwan It is often used with babies when somebody doesn't know the gender. ("Is it a boy or a girl?") – Jason Bassford Mar 27 at 1:42
  • Yes, but that is an exception – Bella Swan Mar 27 at 4:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.