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  1. #1
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    Default Ship is a 'she'?

    She is a huge ship.

    1. Why is ship feminine?
    2. Are there other inanimate objects referred to as either 'he' or 'she' and not 'it'?

    Thanks as always!
    Last edited by stefan_kar; 13-Jul-2009 at 13:52.

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    Default Re: Ship is a 'she'?

    The ship is a she because the sailors of old personified them. They worked everyday on this ship, they depended on it, and they had a relationship with it. They knew the ship as you know a person with its own quirks and teperatment. Traditionally, this persona was that of a woman. Perhaps it had something to do with the way the men took care of her, as men cared for women. Perhaps they just didn't have any real women around at sea, so they needed the ship to be female. There is a lot of traditional lore about the special relationship that the captain had with the ship: she was his mistress. At least, that is what I've heard.

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    Default Re: Ship is a 'she'?

    That's a very good answer nonsense! Thank you.

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    Default Re: Ship is a 'she'?

    What about my second Q?

  5. #5
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    Smile Re: Ship is a 'she'?

    Quote Originally Posted by stefan_kar View Post
    She is a huge ship.

    1. Why is ship feminine?
    2. Are there other inanimate objects referred to as either 'he' or 'she' and not 'it'?

    Thanks as always!
    Using he or she to refer to animals is quite common. However, their use (especially she) with inanimate nouns (like ship, car, country etc.) suggests a high level of human interest in an entity, or a very close relationship - such as that between a car-owner and a car.
    My beautiful red Skoda - she's a fantastic car to drive.

    Using he could be a way of referring to something that causes trouble and is not easy to deal with:
    [a plumber trying to unscrew a stiff pipe]
    He's not going to move, is he!

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    Default Re: Ship is a 'she'?

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    Using he could be a way of referring to something that causes trouble and is not easy to deal with:
    [a plumber trying to unscrew a stiff pipe]
    He's not going to move, is he!
    Wow, didn't know that! Thank you engee.

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    Smile Re: Ship is a 'she'?

    There's some more to this: in relative clauses, both who(m) and which are used with animals that have a close relationship with humans; inanimate nouns that can pattern with he or she do not pattern with who(m), however:
    We have a snake who/which doesn't eat anything other than mice.
    vs
    The Queen Elizabeth is a ship which (not who) made many fast transatlantic crossings.

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