Gender in English

Gender in English

The gender category in English is a grammatical concept. It is created to determine the class of a word according to a certain attribute. In our case, by gender. There are masculine, feminine, and neuter genders, but some languages may have more. 

The concept of gender in English is a rather interesting topic, since it both exists and does not exist at the same time. There are four generic categories in English: masculine, feminine, neuter, and general. 

Gender in English may not be immediately determined. As a grammatical category, it is often identified by the surrounding words in a sentence. If the word is one, then it may be difficult to determine its gender, and you may never know whether it is a male or a female cat. 



Of course, this includes words that have bright masculine features: boy, man, father, uncle. 

Also in English culture, it is customary to include here words that are personified with the masculine principle. No matter how surprising it may sound, but death is masculine, and war too. 



The feminine category includes words that can be replaced by the pronoun "she". This is the easiest way, but also the most efficient. This includes words such as woman, girl, mother, granny, aunt. 

Also, as in the case of the masculine, there is a tradition to refer to the feminine gender words that symbolize the feminine: moon, The Earth, hope, as well as the world we are used to – peace


Neuter gender 

This category includes abstract concepts, objects, animals, birds and insects. 

In the text, neuter nouns can be replaced by the pronoun it, and these are, for example, words such as: 

Picture, car, key, sofa, house, youth, fear, passion, dog, bear, hamster, bug, etc. 


Common gender 

It should be called the most popular one, since the vast majority of words. These words should be called neutral, because they are applicable to both the masculine and the feminine gender. 

a child, a cousin, a friend, a guide, a journalist, a parent, a painter, a secretary, etc. 


Gendered words 

  • boy/girl  
  • brother/sister  
  • father/mother  
  • gentleman/lady  
  • grandfather/grandmother  
  • grandson/granddaughter  
  • husband/wife  
  • king/queen  
  • man/woman  
  • nephew/niece  
  • son/daughter  
  • uncle/aunt  
  • bull/cow  
  • rooster/hen  
  • gander/goose  
  • pig/sow  
  • ram/ewe  
  • stallion/mare  
  • drake/duck  
  • buck/doe  
  • actor/actress  
  • waiter/waitress  
  • lion/lioness  


Gender stereotypes 

The very first and most striking example of this topic is the words boyfriend / girlfriend, for which you often have to make excuses. Due to their consonance and similar meaning to boy friend/girl friend (which means male or female friend), this can often create an awkward situation in a conversation. 

Also, the world, where absolutely everyone defends their rights, is now fighting against the names of professions in the masculine gender. This includes words such as barman, fisherman, fireman. However, there are also words that mean purely female professions – stewardess or nurse

That is why the category of gender in English is not easy to understand. For the first time. In fact, everything is quite clear and understandable, because using the common gender is much easier than memorizing articles of other genders, as, for example, they do in German.