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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Smile He or she?

    Can we refer to a country as he or she?
    I know this sounds silly but i ve heard my teacher refering to America as "she" ,what do you think,?

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    #2

    Re: He or she?

    Quote Originally Posted by agenty4 View Post
    Can we refer to a country as he or she?
    I know this sounds silly but i ve heard my teacher refering to America as "she" ,what do you think,?
    I'm not aware of countries being referred to as "he" or "she". "it" is used to refer to a country.

    Where is Argentina?
    It is in the southern part of South America.

  2. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: He or she?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I'm not aware of countries being referred to as "he" or "she". "it" is used to refer to a country.

    Where is Argentina?
    It is in the southern part of South America.



    Hi,
    How about cases when there's a story behind? For example I've heard the word "Britannica" refers to a goddess who protects British waters...So, can we use "she" for the Great Britain?

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    #4

    Re: He or she?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    It's not silly. I have heard America called she. For example, America is a big country and she is ready to accept new immigrants.
    So can all countries be called "she" or do some prefer to be called "he".
    And if not, why are countries only called "she"?

  3. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: He or she?

    Quote Originally Posted by agenty4 View Post
    Can we refer to a country as he or she?
    I know this sounds silly but i ve heard my teacher refering to America as "she" ,what do you think,?



    This (from wikipedia) may help a bit...:

    Traditionally ships have been referred to using the feminine pronouns (even ships named after men, such as USS Barry), as well as countries and oceans. The origins of this practice are not certain, and it is currently in decline (though more common for ships, particularly in nautical usage, than for countries). In modern English, it can be said that the use of the pronoun "she" to refer to inanimate objects is an optional figure of speech.

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    #6

    Re: He or she?

    It occurred to me later that, because mothers are more important than fathers, we say things like 'mother country' and 'mother tongue'. So probably the "she" is related to that.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: He or she?

    It's very common to use feminine pronouns to refer to countries.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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