I want to describe my gender. I have two choices below:

I am a male.

I am male.

Which one is correct? Or both are fine?


Both are fine and mean almost the same thing.

"I am a male" is closer in meaning to "I belong to the group of people who are male", whereas "I am male" describes your gender directly.

There is very little difference between the two, and they're used interchangeably.


If your intention is to indicate your gender, you might wish to instead say:

I am a man.

The word “male” can be used to mean the same thing, but it is more strictly a designation of biological sex, such as might be used in a medical setting. For this reason, some people might consider use of “male” as either a noun or adjective a bit odd-sounding, or cold in a way.

Both of your proposed alternatives are grammatically correct.


Both are fine. Do you want to use a noun or an adjective? That's the only difference here.


Personally, the second form seems like it would only be used in response to a question, such as: "Are you male or female?

If you were expressing the thought independently, so as to give some idea of your perspective, the first form would be more common.

"I am a male, who is 50 years old, and I'm concerned about the rollout of the Affordable Care Act."

  • I'm not sure your version would necessarily be any more common (or "natural-sounding") than "I am male, 50 years old, and concerned about the rollout of the Affordable Care Act." – FumbleFingers Feb 16 '14 at 20:56

To my basic grammar knowledge, an adjective is a 'describing' word; the main syntactic role of which is to qualify a noun or noun phrase, giving more information about the object signified. Male is an adjective, so if it takes an indefinite article it requires a noun next to it. You may say that my argument is contradictory since I used an adjective, an adjective can be used as adjective depending on the context it's used in a sentence.

  • Adjective is a noun, so it doesn't make your argument contradictory. In contrast, male can be either an adjective or a noun. – user230 Feb 12 '14 at 10:46
  • @snailplane That's right, I just meant it. – kenn Feb 12 '14 at 11:19

Either is fine.

"I am a male" means I am a man.

"I am male" means "I am "not female" (and implies the above).

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