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  1. Member
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    #1

    The snake told the cock she would give his crown back to him early the next morning.

    "The snake told the cock she would give his crown back to him early the next morning." (from a text paper)
    1. Is this sentence correct?
    2. Why does the pronoun for the snake is "she" but not "he" or "it"? Is the gender of a snake usually feminine, like the moon, in English?
    3. Can I omit the THE before "next morning"?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The snake told the cock she would give his crown back to him early the next morni

    1. The sentence is correct.
    2. Nouns don't have gender in English. At least, they don't have it like they do in other languages. No, snakes are not normally assumed to be feminine though a cock is definitely male (the female is a hen). I can only assume that the snake has previously been identified as female.
    3. In BrE, "the" can be omitted before "next morning" but, in this sentence, I prefer its inclusion.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Skrej's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The snake told the cock she would give his crown back to him early the next morni

    Quote Originally Posted by z7655431 View Post
    2. Why does is the pronoun for the snake is "she" but not "he" or "it"? Is the gender of a snake usually feminine, like the moon, in English?
    Note the correct way to formulate your question.

    Old English did have grammatical gender, but that's one of the things that fell out of use as the language transitioned to Middle English. Modern English follows natural gender, which is why English has also has those neuter pronoun forms for things lacking specific gender.

    Certain nouns (especially those referring to professions or occupations) have feminine forms typically formed with an '-ess' suffix (poetess, stewardess, manageress), but that is falling out out of use as well.

    Considering the moon as feminine is actually just a convention where certain nouns are traditionally referred to as female, such as ships, cars, some machines (especially if complex or sophisticated), the moon, and nature. Usage varies from individual to individual, but generally it's meant to convey a sense of fondness or appreciation.
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