As I know, animals can be called "he" or "she" (not only "it").

Also, if someone's gender is unknown, we may use "they" instead of "he" or "she".

Is it possible to use "they" when we talk about the animal or animals and in what context?

  • Yes, it is. We have two dogs, both female. We refer to them individually as "she", and together as "they". – Isabel Archer Jul 9 at 18:02
  • Thank you, Isabel! I was very embarrassed when my interlocutor told me that this word is not used, especially when it comes to one animal. – user3027722 Jul 14 at 0:49
  • @IsabelArcher The question is about the singular "they", obviously it's "they" when the plural is used. – Barmar Jul 14 at 0:52

I don't see why you couldn't use "they" for an animal of unknown gender. However, it's less necessary than when referring to humans, because there's not as much compunction against using "it".

Some people like to consider pets to have almost the same status as family members, so they may prefer not to use "it" for these animals.

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  • Barmar, thank you so much! Anyway, is this listed officially anywhere? – user3027722 Jul 14 at 0:51
  • What state are you asking about? Anyway, English doesn't have any official lists of what's idiomatic. – Barmar Jul 14 at 0:53

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