Grammatical Gender - Gender in English - Exceptions


  • Some animals such as cattle and chickens have different words for male and female animals (bull and cow, rooster and hen, for example). He and she may therefore be used correspondingly, though it remains acceptable. The gender of other animals such as rabbits, insects, etc. is not usually obvious and so these animals are usually referred to as it except in some veterinarian or literary contexts. Alternatively, the use of it may imply the speaker lacks or disdains emotional connection with the animal.
  • The pronoun "she" is sometimes used to refer to things which can contain people, such as countries, ships, or vehicles, or when referring to certain other machines. This, however, is considered an optional figure of speech. This usage is furthermore in decline and advised against by most journalistic style guides.

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