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  1. Anonymous
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    #1

    it? animal? people?

    hi. I need help here. i was taught that 'it' is used only for animals, but recently i found that 'it' is used to refer to people as well in magazines. Can anyone explain to me the correct usage of 'it'?

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: it? animal? people?

    Quote Originally Posted by confused
    hi. I need help here. i was taught that 'it' is used only for animals, but recently i found that 'it' is used to refer to people as well in magazines. Can anyone explain to me the correct usage of 'it'?
    What was the sentence? :D

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    #3
    'It' is sometimes used for babies, but not by the parents.

  3. darren
    Guest
    #4

    Re: it? animal? people?

    the sentence is like this:
    the child may do as it likes. i looked it up in a dictionary and it is written that 'it' is used to refer to a baby, especially one whose sex is not known. But the child in this sentence obviously is no longer a baby, and of course its sex is known. Then, still why 'it' is used here?

  4. Susie Smith
    Guest
    #5

    Re: it? animal? people?

    Quote Originally Posted by darren
    the sentence is like this:
    the child may do as it likes. i looked it up in a dictionary and it is written that 'it' is used to refer to a baby, especially one whose sex is not known. But the child in this sentence obviously is no longer a baby, and of course its sex is known. Then, still why 'it' is used here?
    it (št) pron. 1. Used to refer to that one previously mentioned. Used of a nonhuman entity; an animate being whose sex is unspecified, unknown, or irrelevant; a group of objects or individuals; or an abstraction: polished the table until it shone; couldn't find out who it was; opened the meeting by calling it to order. (source: The American Heritage Dictionary)

    Probably because the writer wants to avoid saying "he" or "she" since the child's sex is irrelevant.

    I hope the following dialogues will be of some help to you.

    Passer-by: What a cute baby! Is it a boy or a girl? (The person doesn't know the baby's sex yet.)
    Baby's mother: A boy.
    Passer-by: What's his name? (Now the person knows the baby's sex.)

    Knock, knock.... (Someone is knocking on the door)
    _Who is it?
    _ It's me.


    Also, I wouldn't refer to my pet dog as "it" just because she is an animal. She's a female, her name is Tiny, and she's part of the family. You only call an animal "it" if its sex is irrelevant or unknown.

    :)

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