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Thread: refer to the animals as "it"

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    Подающий надежды оратор Yukionna's Avatar
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    refer to the animals as "it"

    Hello again

    I have the next question.

    As I know we refer to the animals, as 'it'. In which cases we use "he "his" and "she" "her", when we talk about animals?


    Thanks a lot.

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    Увлечённый спикер Leha von Stiller's Avatar
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    We use "it" in all cases when the gender of the animal doesn't matter. But when it is, for example, someone's pet and member of the family, "he" or "she" is used. Or when it is a character of a tail that behaves like a person

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    Почтенный гражданин Demonic_Duck's Avatar
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    If you use "it" all the time, you won't go wrong. But as Leha says, "he" or "she" is often used if the gender is known, especially if it is a pet.
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    Подающий надежды оратор Yukionna's Avatar
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    Thank you for answers.

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    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leha von Stiller View Post
    We use "it" in all cases when the gender of the animal doesn't matter. But when it is, for example, someone's pet and member of the family, "he" or "she" is used. Or when it is a character of a tail that behaves like a person
    Is it tale?

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    Увлечённый спикер Leha von Stiller's Avatar
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    Is it tale?
    Maybe

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    I have a similar question. When does baby stop being "it"? How old does it have to be? And is calling a baby "she" or "he" a mistake?
    I'm already used to babies being addressed as inanimate objects, but it's still a little weird.

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    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka View Post
    I have a similar question. When does baby stop being "it"? How old does it have to be? And is calling a baby "she" or "he" a mistake?
    I'm already used to babies being addressed as inanimate objects, but it's still a little weird.
    That is a tricky one as some people know the sex of the baby before it is born and others don't. So, until you have been told, "it" is perfectly fine. You can also just say "baby." Once you know the sex, you should then start addressing it by... he, she, him, her, daughter, son, baby, OR the baby's name, any of those are perfectly fine.

    BTW, I almost always refer to my husband as "hubby" as the backstory about his name is too complicated. So most of my friends just ask me, "How are hubby and the girls doing?"

    It is interesting that you mention this "it" thing as when we were looking at high schools we attended several open houses. At one of them an Assistant Principal was speaking and retelling a story and could not recall the student's gender, so she referred to the student as an "it." I was shocked and appalled that an administrator who was trying to impress parents and students would say that! She also said "ummm" maybe 400 times. Needless to say, we quickly crossed that high school off our list.
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    Thanks, rockzmom! It's much clearer now. I thought that calling a baby anything but "it" was wrong for some reason.
    It is interesting that you mention this "it" thing as when we were looking at high schools we attended several open houses. At one of them an Assistant Principal was speaking and retelling a story and could not recall the student's gender, so she referred to the student as an "it." I was shocked and appalled that an administrator who was trying to impress parents and students would say that! She also said "ummm" maybe 400 times. Needless to say, we quickly crossed that high school off our list.

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    Почтенный гражданин Demonic_Duck's Avatar
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    Lol, it (the Assistant Principal, that is) could easily have avoided that problem by just referring to the child as "the child"... or even just making up a gender... at least it wouldn't have made itself look bad in front of all the assembled parents and students
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    Почтенный гражданин bitpicker's Avatar
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    Or maybe it is the new vogue in political correctness to refer to studying entities as "it".
    Спасибо за исправления!

    Вам нравится этот форум, и вы изучаете немецкий язык? Вот похожий форум о немецком языке.

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    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka View Post
    Thanks, rockzmom! It's much clearer now. I thought that calling a baby anything but "it" was wrong for some reason.
    Oh no, do you remember the thread I had a few weeks ago asking for a term of endearment? Well, these terms in American English are very useful for when you forget someone's name! Especially a baby's/child's. Say you see a friend with her baby and for the life of you, you just can't remember the child's name. You can say:

    "Hi Linda! How are you doing. Oh, you have your daughter with you, she is so precious. How old is she now?"

    "Hi Linda! Oh, look at your little one, she has grown so much!" OR if you can't remember boy or girl "Hi Linda! Oh, look how much your little one has grown!"

    "Hi Linda, look at your angel she is so adorable!" OR if you can't remember boy or girl "Hi Linda, look at your adorable angel!"

    Usually, the parent, Linda, will respond by saying something with the child's name and then presto, you can then join in knowing the name AND the parent will never know you forgot and think you a wonderful person. This also works with older kids and spouses.
    "How's your daughter/little angel/princess/little man (for a son)/hubby/wife/better half.... doing"

    Now if the mom is expecting, you can say:
    "How are you and the little one doing."
    "How are you and the baby doing"
    "How are you and the little guy/little man doing" (for some reason we don't say little girl or little lady)
    "How is he/she/the baby behaving, you feeling okay."
    "Is he/she/the baby treating you well?" "
    "What's he/she/the baby craving these days?"

    Finally, a number of parents (including me) actually have a "pet name" or nickname for their baby before it is born. This is usually when they don't know the sex. So, if that is the case, they will usually tell you and you can just call the baby the pet name instead of "it" either before it is born or even after for a while. I never minded. One of my girls teachers just found out and has threatened to call my daughter that name from now on just to tease her!
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