Questions tagged [grammatical-gender]

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What are existing gender-neutral words for various relatives? [closed]

In a world where gender identity notation is important, we need gender-neutral words to refer to relatives. "Spouse," "sibling," and "nibling" (niece or nephew) are the ...
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0answers
46 views

Why “him” in “For neuer resting time leads Summer on / To hidious winter and confounds him there, …” instead of it or her?

There is a passage in William's V sonnet that confounds me : For neuer resting time leads Summer on, To hidious winter and confounds him there, Sap checkt with frost and lustie leau's quite gon. ...
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0answers
161 views

What is the question tag for sentences whose subjects are “none…is” and “each…is”? [duplicate]

I know that indefinite pronouns like none and each take singular verbs, but what about their question tags? None of the boys has passed the test, ________? Each of the girls was given a prize, ...
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1answer
110 views

Why doesn't possessive “his” have distinct forms like “her” vs. “hers”? [closed]

I'm trying to understand why there is a difference between the possessive determiner and pronoun for the female gender (her vs hers) but not for the male gender (his is used for both). "This will be ...
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2answers
1k views

Gender Neutral Salutation /Honorific

In the context of addressing an unknown individual in an email/letter, how does one include persons belonging to the broad gender spectrum? For instance, in binary terms Dear Mam/Sir was the norm for ...
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2answers
179 views

Can the epicene personal pronoun “they’ be used regardless of semantic gender of the word?

Can the epicene personal pronoun they be used regardless of semantic gender of the word? In other words, for any word with semantic gender (i.e. lion, lioness, boy, girl, man, woman, cow, bull) ...
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2answers
92 views

How can one include all people in one's written and spoken language irrespective of one's gender identity(s)? [closed]

I am totally in favour of including non-binary folks in my written and spoken speech, though I'm not sure exactly how I go about doing it competently without sounding like I am trying to avoid ...
13
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7answers
3k views

Why does English use singular they instead of making up a new word for this?

Why does English use singular they instead of making up a new word for this? In my native language there’s a word dia which has the same meaning as he/she, but it doesn’t give information about the ...
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3answers
201 views

How to translate Portuguese demonyms containing gender?

I can say "Brazilian company" (empresa brasileira, in Portuguese) for a company in Brazil. If the company resides in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, in Portuguese we say "empresa mineira", or for ...
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7answers
3k views

Should foreign words used in English be inflected for gender, number, and case according to the conventions of their source language?

Is there a general rule for whether, for, example, foreign nouns and adjectives used in English should be inflected for gender, number, and case as they would be if the entire text were written in the ...
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3answers
218 views

Mayoral Pronoun; it or he/she

Recently I have heard both of the following sentences: The previous mayor was a woman, wasn't she? The mayor is male, isn't it? These seem to me to bear a gender contradiction here; "the mayor&...
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0answers
109 views

Grammatical Gender þe þæt

When the nominative articles for masculine and feminine nouns were exchanged for þe and cases for nouns were lost, it would make sense for masculine and feminine to become a common gender like in ...
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2answers
9k views

Is Warrioress a real word?

According to dictionary.com the definition of warrior is: a person engaged or experienced in warfare; soldier. a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics ...
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1answer
149 views

Reflexive pronoun

What reflexive pronoun should I use when referring to a city, itself or herself? Lisbon is a city that does not show herself/itself.
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3answers
2k views

Is English “genderless” or are inanimate nouns just neuter by default?

Some questions on ELU already touch on this subject, and they pose that English does not have grammatical gender which means that most of its inanimate nouns are referred to with it rather than he or ...
3
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3answers
529 views

Referring to something belonging to a goblin: is it “its” thing or “his” thing? [closed]

I'm writing tutorial for fantasy game with said goblin acting as an example. Now, I need to relate to the thing belonging to that goblin, let's say it's an apple. Is it his apple or its apple? Shall I ...
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1answer
2k views

Terms for “natural gender” and “grammatical gender”

This post is partly inspired by previous posts, such as this one, on non-existence of grammatical gender in English. My question is mainly about what "natural gender" and "grammatical gender" are to ...
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2answers
314 views

indefinite article plus proper name in organizational (i.e. business or bureaucracy) contexts

The use of the indefinite article with a proper name occurs often in business or organizational speech-contexts: We're lucky to have a Bill Jones to get the job done. The article plus proper ...
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2answers
101k views

Using 'her' vs. 'its' to refer to a country [duplicate]

I am currently reading Liddell Hart's "History of the Second World War", and I'm wondering why he sometimes uses her/she when talking about Japan. In my understanding of English, it should be its or ...
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4answers
2k views

Choice of pronoun to refer to 'one of us' when 'us' is male + female: they, he, she?

Imagine yourself – a man – sitting next to someone you want to talk to – a woman – on a bus, train, plane, etc. After a while you say: 'One of us has to start talking / break the ice, don't they? / ...
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8answers
5k views

Is there a female or gender-neutral equivalent to the colloquial “man”?

I don't know how to define the usage of man I'm talking about*, so I'll do it with examples: Hey, man, what's up? C'mon, man, don't make me do this. Is there a female or gender-neutral alternative ...
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3answers
1k views

“à la” + masculine

I'd like to say I'm baking a cake à la Ramsey. Here, à la means in the style of. My problem is: what if Ramsey is male? The French la goes with feminine nouns. So, should I write the following? ...
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2answers
682 views

Why do only a few English demonyms indicate gender?

A friend recently pondered why Latino/Latina inflects according to gender. I suggested that it's because Latino is a loanword from a language with grammatical gender, but he found it odd that other ...
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1answer
430 views

Pronouns and declension for merged/hermaphroditic entities

I have a pair of friends who since entering into a relationship have become rather disgustingly effusive and clingy, to the point where people around them have begun referring them an 'it' [singular], ...
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3answers
2k views

Who is whose sister or brother? [duplicate]

You might like our sister site, English Language Learners I have read this time and time again in replies to users who ask questions which are not a good fit for EL&U but are so for ELL. I am ...
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3answers
1k views

What gender is generally associated with “toad” characters in English fiction and folklore?

The common noun for a toad ("жаба") is of female gender in Russian. Out of all the English literature that I have read, I can remember only one toad-like character: Mr. Toad from The Wind in ...
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3answers
9k views

Why don't English nouns have grammatical gender?

English nouns — other than those with natural gender, e.g. people or animals — do not generally have grammatical gender, and so are referred to as 'it' rather than 'he' or 'she'. However, modern ...