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  1. #1
    magdalena is offline Member
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    Default gender and country - "she" France, but "she" USA?

    Are all the countries in English feminine? Can I say - It is a diffcult time for the USA but we hope that her economy will soon recover. ?

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    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default re: gender and country - "she" France, but "she" USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by magdalena View Post
    Are all the countries in English feminine? Can I say - It is a diffcult time for the USA but we hope that her economy will soon recover. ?
    In English, countries do not have a gender.

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    magdalena is offline Member
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    Default re: gender and country - "she" France, but "she" USA?

    I know but you can use personal pronoun as a figure of speech and I wonder if I can use 'she' referring to all countries or only some of them.

  4. #4
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    Default re: gender and country - "she" France, but "she" USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by magdalena View Post
    I know but you can use personal pronoun as a figure of speech and I wonder if I can use 'she' referring to all countries or only some of them.
    It's hard to say. I don't think I've ever heard it said of an enemy country, or someone out of favour. "North Korea has dropped her plans to fire the new missile". But now that I've written it it doesn't sound wrong.

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    Default re: gender and country - "she" France, but "she" USA?

    from Mental Floss :

    (quote)

    “Stand beside her, and guide her,” we sing in “God Bless America.” Come to think of it, most nations of the world are referred to in the female gender. However, it’s not because of some last-minute token political correctness.

    English is one of the few languages that does not distinguish between masculine and feminine nouns. For example, in English, a cat is a cat, and a dog is a dog. But in French (for example), a cat is la chat, making it a feminine noun, while a dog is le chien, which makes it masculine (whether or not it’s actually a bitch). (And we mean “bitch” strictly in the canine sense.) Latin, the root of the English language, also has feminine and masculine words, and terra firma is one of them. Terra firma means earth, or solid ground, and it is feminine. So, partly because of its Latin origin, and partly because the rich earth beneath our feet was the original source of food (and nurturing) for our ancestors, our humble planet became known as Mother Earth.

    Keeping with that train of thought, all land in general was eventually referred to in the feminine sense. We speak of “her shores” and “the Motherland.” The sole exception is Germany, which, during World War II, was known as "Vaterland.” Technically, vaterland is gender-neutral, but it was translated into English as “Fatherland.” The terms is not used much today, due to its negative connotations.

    (unquote)

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    marcobachir is offline Newbie
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    Default re: gender and country - "she" France, but "she" USA?

    in my openion,you can't use neither she nor he for countries,but the best and the appropriate pronoun is (it)
    this is what I've learnt from our teachers.

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    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default re: gender and country - "she" France, but "she" USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by marcobachir View Post
    in my openion,you can't use neither she nor he for countries,but the best and the appropriate pronoun is (it)
    this is what I've learnt from our teachers.
    OMG! marcobachir's teachers say we can't speak our own language the way we want to! What should we do?

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    Default re: gender and country - "she" France, but "she" USA?

    For me, objects, which includes countries, are gender neutral and are referred to as 'it'.

  9. #9
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    philadelphia is offline Senior Member
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    Default re: gender and country - "she" France, but "she" USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post

    English is one of the few languages that does not distinguish between masculine and feminine nouns. For example, in English, a cat is a cat, and a dog is a dog. But in French (for example), a cat is la chatte (feminine noun) or le chat (masculine noun), making it a feminine noun, while a dog is le chien or la chienne, which makes it masculine (whether or not it’s actually a bitch). (And we mean “bitch” strictly in the canine sense.)
    (unquote)
    Right enough. I have all the same bumped into genders when I read some English newspapers eg. So yes, I daresay that the feminine noun is so common to talk about your own country and abouof course t all the things you do care; eg your home, your university, some of your piece of clothing and whatnot.

    that is why, to my own part, to use those genders give a stronger importance and matter. I tell that even if for us French to use them is definitely normal.

    Not a teacher though

  10. #10
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    Default re: gender and country - "she" France, but "she" USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    For me, objects, which includes countries, are gender neutral and are referred to as 'it'.
    I take it then that you don't approve. That won't stop it from happening.
    Do you know that in Aus and NZ, "she" is occasionally used among friends when referring to a male friend who they are teasing. For example:
    "Ron's always late. Oh, here she comes now."
    "So, Bevan rocks up to this chick, and she goes "<laughable pickup line>".
    It was all the rage when I was a young fellow.

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