"Put her in gear."

1. 'Her' refers to a car. Can I say, "Put it/him in gear"?

2. How do you tell if an object does have gender?

Thanks,
Regular Member840
Hi,


How do you tell if an object does have gender?

Well, as you probably know, some languages have gender for objects. English doesn't. Still, sometimes we speak of an object as having gender. Sometimes it's affection or tradition. A ship can be 'it' or 'she'.

Sometimes, I think it's a way of speaking in a manner that shows familiarity or informality. Perhaps it's also a feature of a regional dialect. If a car driver starts the engine and says to the passengers, 'Well, boys, let's put her in gear', it sounds to my ear like he is from Newfoundland in Canada.


Can I say, "Put it/him in gear"? The normal thing is to say 'it'.

Off hand, I think that when we refer to objects as having gender, we say 'she' a lot more than 'he'. I'm not sure why, that's an interesting question.

Best wishes, Clive
Veteran Member67,729
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Anonymous:
Hi~

Yes, I think there is a gender. I am quite surprised on this question because I am looking for

the same. It would be grateful if someone advie me at <e-mail removed>

When I stayed in USA, I found the below. And, there should be more......

Porsche is considered to be a female.

Ferrari is considered to be a male

I guess the shape of car makes its gender.

Duke Ahn

From Seoul, Korea
Hi,

When I stayed in USA, I found the below. And, there should be more......

Porsche is considered to be a female.

Ferrari is considered to be a male

I guess the shape of car makes its gender.

I've never heard of this before. It sounds to me like someone was just trying to be funny.

If you buy a Ferrari, I advise you not to say things like 'He can do 100 kilometres per hour in 2nd. gear'. Emotion: big smile

Clive
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For some reason, I am reminded of a sunny Saturday morning over twenty years ago, when I was visiting my husband, who was housed at the time in the Bachelor Officer's Quarters at the US Naval station. I looked out of our second-story window across the BOQ parking lot. Almost every car there was a shiny sportscar, and most of the sportscars were at that moment being lovingly wiped and waxed by their young, single junior officer owners. Stroke, stroke, stroke, went the rags over the long, shiny hoods of the cars...

But yes, I agree. Don't say "I left him parked a block from here." Or "her," for that matter. I don't know from boats, but I think the custom of affectionately referring to a car as "she" is rather out of date these days. It makes me think of a grizzled old mechanic, proudly saying something like, "Yep, she sure 'nough purrs like a kitten now, mister!" as he hands you the bill. A quaint image from another era.
Contributing Member1,166
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I agree with Clive and Delmobile in that I would never use "him" for a car (I never heard that Ferarri thing either). I do not think that it is as antiquated as it may seem. Movies, like "gone in 60 seconds" etc...have helped to continue this practice (often, the car is even given a female name). In general, if you are going to give a gender to any machinery, it would have to be a she.
Junior Member77
however I think it's because male dominated the role of being a vehicle technitian? (I've never actually had a female technitian fixed my car in my life). It's possible that this was their language and they were the ones who started it(prefer calling cars as female). No proves certainly, but it's highly plausible.
Full Member163
Anonymous:
Interesting to find posts dated back to 2005 on something I was just pondering. It does seem that automobiles are widely regarded as female, particularly by young men. I reckon a car would be the first asset for someone starting his own life. The car that drives him to work, parties and everywhere; the companion that never lets him down.The gender recognition would be more sounded if the dependency appears stronger say, in the case of owning a high-performance sports car (which could help you win more than late night illegal races)!
Nevertheless, the validity of this scenario seems rather retrospective now that female drivers are as many as male drivers and it wouldn't be much fun for the ladies to ride a she (well, that too depends!).

Warfman
Anonymous:
I've found that generally, cars are the opposite gender of their owner. This isn't always the case, but it seems the trend.

To say that objects do not have gender in english is not entirely true. Ships for example are female.
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