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    • Join Date: Dec 2009
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    #1

    Can a country be "she" ?

    I know that the correct pronoun for a country should be "it":

    I am from Germany. It is in the middle of Europe.

    The other day I saw someone referring to her home country of China as "she" and I thought I have seen something like this before. Is it possible to address a country like a person, maybe in a literary/poetic context ? And would you accept that in a normal essay?

    Thank you !

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Can a country be "she" ?

    I wouldn't expect it in an essay that describes a nation in factual terms: its industries, population, elevation, river systems, etc. However, in an essay that talks about a nation's culture or people, it would seem natural.
    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.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Can a country be "she" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyRose View Post
    I know that the correct pronoun for a country should be "it":

    I am from Germany. It is in the middle of Europe.

    The other day I saw someone referring to her home country of China as "she" and I thought I have seen something like this before. Is it possible to address a country like a person, maybe in a literary/poetic context ? And would you accept that in a normal essay?

    Thank you !
    I'd find it strange (annoying) in an essay - especially for a country that has been referred to as the Fatherland. Russians, on the other hand, refer to their country as a Motherland. That might not sound so strange. If in doubt about your marker's feelings on the matter, I'd use the safe "it".

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