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  1. Moderator
    Interested in Language
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    #11

    Re: Wouldn't happen/ Wouldn't have happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashraful Haque View Post
    Thank you for the answer but I'm a little confused about the 'guys' part. In almost every English movie 'guys' is gender neutral. I remember a movie where a girl says to a group of people combining girls, boys and even a gay person- "Get ready guys"
    As a mass noun, and in an expanding number of other cases, guys covers both genders. But in isolation, many of us see it as meaning "males".

    This usage is probably changing. Still, some years ago I read a discussion of whether "guys" applied to females as well as males. A young woman said her friends used it for mixed groups and male-only groups. She went on to say "Even guys do it!"
    I am not a teacher.

  2. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
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    #12

    Re: Wouldn't happen/ Wouldn't have happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    As a mass noun, and in an expanding number of other cases, guys covers both genders. But in isolation, many of us see it as meaning "males".

    This usage is probably changing. Still, some years ago I read a discussion of whether "guys" applied to females as well as males. A young woman said her friends used it for mixed groups and male-only groups. She went on to say "Even guys do it!"
    I don't really want to argue this point here, GS, but I do think the fact that someone could read it as meaning 'males' is much to do with the listener belonging to a certain age group. I can confirm that its gender-neutral use is incredibly common and natural among younger speakers. I'm not particularly young myself, but I use it also to refer to groups of only females.

    I think the key complicating issue here is the fact that it is still also commonly used to refer to male gender, but context makes that pretty clear.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 13-Feb-2020 at 01:19.

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