Questions tagged [animacy]

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17
votes
10answers
12k views

Can 'it' be used to refer to a person?

I read a dialogue. It went like this: A: Is this your family? B: Yes, it is. A: What a big family! Is this your sister? B: Yes, it is. Her name is Linda. (I think this should be "Yes, she is") A: ...
14
votes
2answers
756 views

Who or what? Questions about animate beings

Which of the words should I choose when I ask about the meaning of a word that I don't know exactly but I know that the word I am asking about is an animate being? What/who is a king? What/who ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

Is referring to people as “it” considered rude?

In Japanese, referring to people as "it" considered rude. Instead of "it", We say "that person" or information of the person (ex. a person who wares a blue shirt). In English, Is referring to people ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Play-doh and they

You have five colorful balls of Play-doh. Would the pronoun "them" or "they" be correct? Collect all the doh and put "them" in their containers. Did you roll "them" into balls by yourself? Their ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Can we use “that”, “those”, in a derogative way

Do you have examples of uses of "that" "those", etc... in a derogative way.
2
votes
1answer
266 views

“What on earth made/had you do that”

When are we suppose to use "made" and "had" in a sentence? I know that have is a causative which means 'make'. For example: He had me wait for five minutes at the shop. So in the same way can ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

its or his in this context? [duplicate]

Which one is correct: A child born today inherits a world vastly different from that of its parent’s generation. A child born today inherits a world vastly different from that of his parent’s ...