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    #1

    What should we call a friend who is a boy?

    What word do we use to name a boy who is our friend that have no sex with us. And can we use "boyfriend" to call that kind of friend?

  1. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: What should we call a friend who is a boy?

    Hi,

    I believe I have seen it written as "boy friend" to indicate what you mean.

    Greetings,

    charliedeut
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: What should we call a friend who is a boy?

    How about friend? If sex is not an issue, why should gender be one?

  2. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: What should we call a friend who is a boy?

    NOT A TEACHER

    Or you could use "mate", "pal", "buddy" or "bud". I believe all of them are mostly used to refer to a male friend.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: What should we call a friend who is a boy?

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    Hi,

    I believe I have seen it written as "boy friend" to indicate what you mean.
    "Boyfriend" implies a romantic (even if not explicitly sexual) relationship. "Boy friend" is hardly different.
    If you're correct in your belief that you've seen it used for a male friend, it was probably not by a native speaker.

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    #6

    Re: What should we call a friend who is a boy?

    Use Raymott's male friend.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: What should we call a friend who is a boy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Use Raymott's male friend.
    That is, if you need to specify, as in:

    A: Doesn't your husband object to you having so many female friends?
    B: Why should he? We both have male and female friends. Marriage doesn't mean you have to stop seeing friends just because they're the opposite sex.

    However, we often don't need to specify. A friend's sex is often of as little signifiance as their sexuality, religion, politics, etc.

    In a language where nouns have gender, then we automatically know that the masculine noun, for example, Freund in German refers to a male friend, and that the feminine noun Freundin refers to a female friend. However, this does not necessarily mean that there is any focus on the natural sex of the person rather than the grammatical gender of the noun. There is no evidence to suggest that Germans think of a table as a male thing or a newspaper as a female thing just because of the grammatical gender of the words that refer to these things.

    The natural sex of the friend referred to is normally clear from the context, as in "I bumped into an old friend yesterday, He was in town on business and ...", or the name: "I had dinner last week with Peter, a friend from college days". If the natural sex of the friend is of interest, and is not clear from other signs, then clarification will be requested/provided:

    A: Fancy coming to the pub tonight?
    B: I can't, I'm afraid. Pat's invited me round for a meal.
    A: Who's Pat?
    B: A friend I used to work with.
    A: Boyfriend?

    B: {No, just someone I've known since my time at Sainsbury's. [sex still not clear and, presumably, unimportant.]
    B: {No, he's gay, but we both enjoy cooking, and ... . [sex now clear, though not necessarily important.]
    B: {No, Patricia - you remember Pat from Sainsburys, don't you?) [sex now clear, though not necessarily important.]

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