it? animal? people?

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Anonymous

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hi. I need help here. i was taught that 'it' is used only for animals, but recently i found that 'it' is used to refer to people as well in magazines. Can anyone explain to me the correct usage of 'it'?
 

Casiopea

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confused said:
hi. I need help here. i was taught that 'it' is used only for animals, but recently i found that 'it' is used to refer to people as well in magazines. Can anyone explain to me the correct usage of 'it'?

What was the sentence? :D
 

Tdol

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'It' is sometimes used for babies, but not by the parents. ;-)
 
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darren

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the sentence is like this:
the child may do as it likes. i looked it up in a dictionary and it is written that 'it' is used to refer to a baby, especially one whose sex is not known. But the child in this sentence obviously is no longer a baby, and of course its sex is known. Then, still why 'it' is used here?
 
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Susie Smith

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darren said:
the sentence is like this:
the child may do as it likes. i looked it up in a dictionary and it is written that 'it' is used to refer to a baby, especially one whose sex is not known. But the child in this sentence obviously is no longer a baby, and of course its sex is known. Then, still why 'it' is used here?

it (¹t) pron. 1. Used to refer to that one previously mentioned. Used of a nonhuman entity; an animate being whose sex is unspecified, unknown, or irrelevant; a group of objects or individuals; or an abstraction: polished the table until it shone; couldn't find out who it was; opened the meeting by calling it to order. (source: The American Heritage Dictionary)

Probably because the writer wants to avoid saying "he" or "she" since the child's sex is irrelevant.

I hope the following dialogues will be of some help to you.

Passer-by: What a cute baby! Is it a boy or a girl? (The person doesn't know the baby's sex yet.)
Baby's mother: A boy.
Passer-by: What's his name? (Now the person knows the baby's sex.)

Knock, knock.... (Someone is knocking on the door)
_Who is it?
_ It's me.


Also, I wouldn't refer to my pet dog as "it" just because she is an animal. She's a female, her name is Tiny, and she's part of the family. You only call an animal "it" if its sex is irrelevant or unknown.

:)
 
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