HomeQ&A"He" versus "it"

"He" versus "it"

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No tengo muy claro cuando se utiliza 'he? y cuando se utiliza 'it? cuando estamos hablando de un animal. Me gustaría que alguien me lo aclarase, por favor.

4885 views
updated FEB 7, 2011
posted by nila45

19 Answers

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Cuando quieres aclarar el sexo del animal, usa "he" o "she". Esto es nomal entre personas que tratan al animal como si fuera parte de la familia. Si se desconoce el sexo, no es importante mencionarlo, o se quiere hablar del animal con indiferencia o de manera despectiva, usa "it".

updated FEB 7, 2011
posted by lazarus1907
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Intentaré no poner los títulos en mayúsculas. En realidad, era para hacerlos más visibles. Espero tenerlo en cuenta a partir de ahora y que no se me olvide.

No es muy importante, Nila, pero se considera "gritar" poner todo mayúsculas en los foros.

updated MAY 25, 2009
posted by 00494d19
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Sin embargo, si yo tuviera un loro, un mono o un caballo quizás fuera más extraño referirme a ellos con "he" o "she". ¿Qué piensas de eso?

Otro asunto. También si fuera el perro de mi vecina, yo no podría referirme a él como "he" o "she", ¿no'.

A mí me parece todo un asunto de personificar al animal. Mis animales tienen nombres y con toda naturalidad me refiero a ellos as "he" en singular ya que son machos.

También me parece lógico que el perro de mi alumna que se llama "March", jeje, sea "he".

Sin embargo, un perro visto en el parque, un mono en el zoo...anónimo, en inglés me referiría a él

como : it.

Nila, por favor no pongas los títulos todo en mayúsculas.

Sí, parece que "it" suena bien para animales que son ajenos a nosotros.

Intentaré no poner los títulos en mayúsculas. En realidad, era para hacerlos más visibles. Espero tenerlo en cuenta a partir de ahora y que no se me olvide.

updated MAY 25, 2009
posted by nila45
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Flowers also have gender (male and female) so applying your rules we could call a bunch of flowers "he" or "she"?

Why do you think all dictionaries include male animals, but not flowers? This is from a grammar:

The choice between personal (he/she) and nonpersonal gender (it) is determined primarily by whether the reference is to a 'person', ie to a being felt to possess characteristic associated with a member of the human race. So defined, 'persons' are not only human beings, but may also include supernatural beings (the Deity, gods, angels, fairies, etc), and ****higher animals.

Male/female gender distinctions in animal nouns are maintained by people with a special concern (for example with pets).

A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, Longman (London)

As I said, all my English friends who love their pets as much as their family use 'he' and 'she'. Maybe you are not one of those who love animals to such extent, but you cannot deny that people in ENGLAND speak like that. Actually, I know someone who would throw you out of her house if you called her cat 'it'. This is a fact that is widely documented in grammars and dictionaries.

updated MAY 25, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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I suppose in practice, English people "expect" to be refered to by using their real name eg Tom or Fred or Sally or Sheila because its polite and English people find it incredibly rude otherwise.

He or she is better than being called an "it" because "it" is non descript. That is why its more professional to refer to things as male or female and avoid the under tones that "He", "she" or "it" brings with it.

updated MAY 25, 2009
posted by Mark-Baker
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In England, especially when talking about animals, we never use "he or she" like in Spanish.

Many of my British friends would disagree with you. Today I was visiting one of them, and he was telling me what HE (his male cat) did today.

**he

1 used to refer to a man, boy or ****male animal**** that has already been mentioned.

© Cambridge Dictionary**

**he

used to refer to a man, boy, or ****male animal**** that has already been mentioned or is already known about.

© Longman Dictionary**

**he

  1. a. The male being in question, or last mentioned: Used of persons and ****animals**** of the male sex.

© Oxford English Dictionary**

Flowers also have gender (male and female) so applying your rules we could call a bunch of flowers "he" or "she"'

updated MAY 25, 2009
posted by Mark-Baker
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Assuming you're married, would your wife (or husband, one never knows these days...) say "Mark Baker is sleeping now" instead of "he is sleeping now"? Same idea.

Here in England, if you called your wife "a she" I guarantee your life would be made Hell. The saying is "Who is she!! Cats Mother".

Women were christened for a reason and here in England, women and men consider being called "a she" or "a he" respectively very rude indeed.

The etiquette is to refer to them by their name hence "Mark is fast asleep" .....since "Mark is sleeping now" is bad English.

updated MAY 25, 2009
posted by Mark-Baker
0
votes

Sin embargo, si yo tuviera un loro, un mono o un caballo quizás fuera más extraño referirme a ellos con "he" o "she". ¿Qué piensas de eso?

Otro asunto. También si fuera el perro de mi vecina, yo no podría referirme a él como "he" o "she", ¿no'.

A mí me parece todo un asunto de personificar al animal. Mis animales tienen nombres y con toda naturalidad me refiero a ellos as "he" en singular ya que son machos.
También me parece lógico que el perro de mi alumna que se llama "March", jeje, sea "he".
Sin embargo, un perro visto en el parque, un mono en el zoo...anónimo, en inglés me referiría a él
como : it.

Nila, por favor no pongas los títulos todo en mayúsculas.

updated MAY 25, 2009
posted by 00494d19
0
votes

Cuando quieres aclarar el sexo del animal, usa "he" o "she". Esto es nomal entre personas que tratan al animal como si fuera parte de la familia. Si se desconoce el sexo, no es importante mencionarlo, o se quiere hablar del animal con indiferencia o de manera despectiva, usa "it".

A ver, me da la sensación de que se utiliza con cierto tipo de animales domésticos tales como un perro, un gato, ... Al tratarse de animales que tienen cierta comunicación con las personas puede ser que nos podamos referir a ellos como "he" o "she". Y, además porque son animales que consideramos que son nuestros. Pero, sin embargo, si yo tuviera un mirlo o un gorrión no me parecería normal referirme a ellos como "he" o "she". Sin embargo, si yo tuviera un loro, un mono o un caballo quizás fuera más extraño referirme a ellos con "he" o "she". ¿Qué piensas de eso?
Otro asunto. También si fuera el perro de mi vecina, yo no podría referirme a él como "he" o "she", ¿no'.

updated MAY 25, 2009
posted by nila45
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Doesn't your daughter have a proper name for her Guinea pig?

Bean. But you have to say it "inward", like Rowan Atkinson.

Since "Porky Pig is sleeping now" would have more affection attached than just "He".

Assuming you're married, would your wife (or husband, one never knows these days...) say "Mark Baker is sleeping now" instead of "he is sleeping now"? Same idea.

updated MAY 24, 2009
posted by 00719c95
0
votes

In England, especially when talking about animals, we never use "he or she" like in Spanish.

Many of my British friends would disagree with you. Today I was visiting one of them, and he was telling me what HE (his male cat) did today.

he
1 used to refer to a man, boy or ****male animal**** that has already been mentioned.
© Cambridge Dictionary

he
used to refer to a man, boy, or ****male animal**** that has already been mentioned or is already known about.
© Longman Dictionary

he
1. a. The male being in question, or last mentioned: Used of persons and ****animals**** of the male sex.
© Oxford English Dictionary

updated MAY 24, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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votes

answered--too bad, it took me 10 minutes to figure out how to spell anthromorphisized (pets and domesticated animals) and I didn't get to use it.

Are you challenging us? I could never find that word or remember how to spell it. So, you must have lost some of the spelling between finding the word and posting it, How about anthropomorphized? If I am wrong, which never happened before, mea culpa. grin

I don't know. I can't remember how to spell it long enough to put it in the dictionary search box to check the spelling. By the time I get to the end of the word I forget what I was trying to do. I guess if I ever use it again I'll just return here and cut and paste your spelling of the word.
Thank you for the correction.

updated MAY 24, 2009
posted by 0074b507
0
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Thanks for the useful keystrokes info.

Doesn't your daughter have a proper name for her Guinea pig? Since "Porky Pig is sleeping now" would have more affection attached than just "He". Actually Guinea Pigs spend 90 per cent of their natural lives being called the wrong sex since they are notorious for being wrongly labelled. jejejeje.

updated MAY 24, 2009
posted by Mark-Baker
0
votes

I spent half an hour writing a reply to this question and the system just trashed it

When writing long replies, I always select and copy the entire text to the clipboard before clicking any buttons. It takes two keystrokes: Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C.

In England, especially when talking about animals, we never use "he or she" like in Spanish.

My daughter always refers to her guinea pig as "he", as in "he is sleeping now". To say "it" would sound as if she didn't care about her pet.

Of course the British, being so formal, must not show such affection towards lesser creatures smile

A ship is called "she" because it stems from Greek Mythology and Poseidon. The legends are explained in "lliad" and continued even today just like the Star Constellations.

I have never read the Iliad. Is there some legend about ships having personality, or something like that'

updated MAY 24, 2009
posted by 00719c95
0
votes

I spent half an hour writing a reply to this question and the system just trashed it, so I hope this works.jejeje

Hello Nila!

Can you give a few examples please'. In England, especially when talking about animals, we never use "he or she" like in Spanish. Instead we try and use the correct names eg Cob/Pen (Swans) Ram/Ewe (sheep). If you dont know the proper names then go for the generic "It" which covers everything. In England we use the words "male or female" because it sounds better and more professional than using "he or she" when dealing with animals.

updated MAY 24, 2009
posted by Mark-Baker
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