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Hi everybody,

I'd like to know what's the reason for using the feminine pronoun for cats, instead of the neuter. I understand that this is so when you are talking of cats in general or of female cats, but not when you're talking of male cats. Are there many words for which this occurs? And words for which "he" is used instead of "it"? If I remember well, a ship was also "she", wasn't it? (or, rather, wasn't she?)

Thanks!
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Comments  (Page 2) 
Colombo
So "she" isn't used for cats, as a general rule!?

No, although some people do this as an idiocyncracy. It's okay to use it if you don't know. If you are talking to the pet's owner, you can say "He (pause) (raised eyebrow) she? (pause while the owner tells you)... sure is a pretty thing" if you really want to find out.
ColomboI have a tendency to call babies "it", even when it's easy to avoid using a pronoun or a possessive. I suppose it's the Herod in me.

As as been said, just not in front of the parents. Certainly, if you're in a restaurant and some baby is crying across the room, you can say to your dinner companions, "I do wish that one of the parents would take it out of the room!"
What's the difference between "some baby is crying across the room" and "some baby is crying in the room?"

Thanks for answering!
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Hi,

What's the difference between

"some baby is crying across the room" It's at the other side of the room. The implication is that this baby is crying so loudly that I can hear it at a distance.

"some baby is crying in the room" It may be anywhere in the room.

Best wishes, Clive
Regarding Ruslana's mention of countries and gender, I've heard countries being referred to as "the motherland " or "the fatherland ." Who chooses which, and why?
Hi,

I guess the people who live in a particular country sometimes just get into the habit of using an expression that most of them like. ie It's idiomatic.Emotion: smile

Best wishes, Clive
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