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I am a student and I am supposed to write an essay about grammatical genders in English. I've read a bit about it, but I still do not understand - do English use genders or did they only use it in the past (old English?) I would be really garteful if someone explained it to me! Thanks
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Hi,

I am a student and I am supposed to write an essay about grammatical genders in English. I've read a bit about it, but I still do not understand - do English use genders or did they only use it in the past (old English?) I would be really garteful if someone explained it to me! Thanks

The short answer is that gender does not feature largely in English today. You might want to begin by considering and defining what you mean here when you speak of 'gender'. In French, for example, nouns have gender, eg a pen is feminine, 'la plume'. French adjectives have male and female endings, which must agree with the noun that they are describing.

Here are some aspects for you to consider, where you still find some form of gender in English.

The third-person singular pronouns, she, her, hers, herself / he, him, his, himself

There are also words that have male/female forms, eg hero/heroine, actor/actress, prince/princess. In some of these cases, but not all, the female form is deplored by feminists and is falling into some disuse.

There are also words like 'chairman', which is now often replaced by the term 'chair'. Other examples include fireman/policeman/fisherman.

You may wish to research the feminist approach to gender in the English language. eg does the term 'policeman' subtly tell little girls that only men can be police officers?

Best wishes, Clive
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Thanks for answer!