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  1. sara88's Avatar

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    #1

    her/him

    Hello
    I found this sentence:
    "We may be exceptionally polite to a particular individual because we want something from her".
    My question is: Why do we use her?? Why not him or them?!! Any specific reasons?
    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: her/him

    Hello again Sara,

    Some people would say "him", in that example; some would say "him or her"; some (perhaps most) would say "them"; but a few (perhaps least) would say "her", on the grounds that "her" is as likely to be representative as "him".

    All the best,

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

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    #3

    Re: her/him

    Quote Originally Posted by sara88 View Post
    Hello
    I found this sentence:
    "We may be exceptionally polite to a particular individual because we want something from her".
    My question is: Why do we use her?? Why not him or them?!! Any specific reasons?
    Thanks.
    I am just a student.
    I posted a similar thread a few weeks ago and I've got no conclusive answer. It seems to be a matter of choice.
    I have a stupid opinion: the conclusion I came to is that there's no reason for NOT using "her". We are used to living in a world ruled by men and also used to employing always neutral or masculine pronouns, but rarely a feminine one. But it's just a convention, right?
    People even think about God as a man, not a woman. Another convention, right?
    Just a student.
    Last edited by jctgf; 22-Jun-2008 at 02:11.

  2. sara88's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: her/him

    Thanks a lot MrPedantic and Jctgf.
    I may agree with you Jc. However I was thinking about the use of "them" instead of "her " or" him".
    Last year I posted a question about the use of "them" when it replaces "someone" or "everyone",I guess I quite grasped it by simply thinking that "them" is the most neutral way to express it.
    Same with "individual", "them" would the best one to use in my opinion.

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    #5

    Re: her/him

    Hello Sara,

    I would probably use "them" too, in that sentence; but some people dislike it when others use "them" as a singular all-purpose pronoun. Therefore other options such as "him/her" have become popular. (Though people dislike that too!)

    I would agree with JC about "her": some people use "her" because "we are used to living in a world ruled by men and also used to employing always neutral or masculine pronouns, but rarely a feminine one" (i.e. to make a point).

    Best wishes,

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  3. Soup's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: her/him

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    ... the conclusion I came to is that there's no reason for NOT using "her".
    That's the only argument one needs.


    ___________________
    By the way, the example sentence (post #1) is taken from an English test. They pages, however, are blank. (You have to apply for access).
    [PDF]
    You will hear 20 questions during the test

    - 11:30pm File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
    exceptionally polite to a particular individual because we want something from her. 1. According to the paragraph, what is the purpose of our singing in the ...
    forum.nta.org.tw/examservice/attachment.php?attachmentid=666&d=1148888637 -


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    #7

    Re: her/him

    sarah88:

    ...and so you see, everyone has their little stick to stir with, and what once was crystal clear water.............just ask, 'What's that on the bottom?"...........and you'll never see it again.

    Moral:
    It's up to each person's individual choice. Rather than pushing the gender agenda, or even better - bringing religion into it - :

    '...to a particular individual because we want something from them."

    Just as you sensibly thought it ought to be!

  4. Soup's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: her/him

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    sarah88:

    ...and so you see, everyone has their little stick to stir with, and what once was crystal clear water.............just ask, 'What's that on the bottom?"...........and you'll never see it again.

    Moral:
    It's up to each person's individual choice. Rather than pushing the gender agenda, or even better - bringing religion into it - :

    '...to a particular individual because we want something from them."

    Just as you sensibly thought it ought to be!
    Our readers may need some help with interpreting your advice.

  5. sara88's Avatar

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    #9

    Re: her/him

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    sarah88:

    ...and so you see, everyone has their little stick to stir with, and what once was crystal clear water.............just ask, 'What's that on the bottom?"...........and you'll never see it again.

    !
    I completely agree with Soup, David would you please explain a bit what you mean??!

  6. sara88's Avatar

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    #10

    Re: her/him

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    __________________
    By the way, the example sentence (post #1) is taken from an English test. They pages, however, are blank. (You have to apply for access).


    That example sentence is taken from my book "Refining composition skills" written by Regina L.Smalley and others.P.21.
    It was mentioned in a paragraph taken from: JoHn P. Houston, Motivation(New York: Macmillan,1985),p.268.

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