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Unit 2.1

Noun Gender

Nouns

Nouns refer to a person, place, thing, event, substance or quality.

Nouns have three genders: masculine, feminine and neutral.

Some nouns may have different words for different genders:

  • Masculine, feminine and neutral;
  • Masculine and feminine;
  • Neutral.
MASCULINEFEMININENEUTRAL
boygirlchild
fathermotherparent
husbandwifespouse
manwomanperson
sirmadame
sondaughter
uncleaunt
 – –dog
 – –dolphin
 – –table

*We can distinguish some neutral nouns by adding male or female.

We usually use he (masculine) and she (feminine) for people, however we use it (neutral) for things and animals (except for pets and domestic animals when they’re considered to be intelligent and to have feelings, where we can use he or she).

Words with masculine, feminine and neutral form:

  • Our boy likes football. He plays it every day.
  • Our girl likes football. She plays it every day.
  • Our child likes football. They* play it every day.

Words with both masculine and feminine form:

  • My uncle doesn’t eat meat. He is a vegetarian.
  • My aunt doesn’t eat meat. She is a vegetarian.

Words with neutral form only:

  • The table is 500 euros. It is expensive.
  • The dog is 10 kilos. It is heavy.
  • The female dog is 10 kilos. She is heavy.

*We can use they as a neutral third person singular pronoun when we don’t know or don’t want to reveal someone’s gender.

We use nouns in the masculine and feminine genders for male and female people and the neutral form for things, animals, events, substance or qualities.

Nouns have three genders: masculine, feminine, and neutral.

We usually use he and she for people, however we use it for things and animals (we can use he or she for domestic animals).

For example:
— “My father doesn’t eat meat. He is a vegetarian.” = We use he because father is masculine.
— “My mother doesn’t eat meat. She is a vegetarian.” =  We use she because mother is feminine.
— “My parents don’t eat meat. They are vegetarian.” =  We use they because parents is for both (father and mother).
— “The cat sleeps during the day. It is so cute.” / “The female cat sleeps during the day. She is so cute.” = We can use it or she as it is a domestic animal and female.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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