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When addressing a female person, do I have to use 妳 instead of 你?
How common is the usage of 妳?

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As far as I'm aware these are two characters for the same word with the same pronunciation and tone. Normally we only address people in speech so it wouldn't actually make any difference unless you are writing a note or sign addressing somebody directly. But then again maybe you really mean "to refer to ..." and not "to address ..."? –  hippietrail Feb 17 at 10:03
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2 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Mainland China doesn't use 妳 anymore. 妳 is mostly used in Hong Kong and Taiwan where they still use Traditional Chinese.

As you mentioned in the question, 妳 is used to address a female person. In mainland China, people use 你 for both male and female.

Note: the right hand side of 你 or 妳 is 尔. In Traditional Chinese, 尔 is written as 爾. However, as far as I know, 你 and 妳 in Traditional Chinese are not written as 儞 not 嬭 but just 你 and 妳.

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ha, here is the reason for my impression. Another question would be, if 妳 can be replaced by 你 in traditional Chinese? –  Flake Dec 15 '11 at 0:48
    
As far as I know, in traditional Chinese 你 can be used for both male/female (ie. to some extent it is gender neutral). However, 妳 is only used for female (similar to 他 and 她). –  pyko Dec 18 '11 at 10:13
    
Two more for you: 祢 --> You (God), 您 --> You (higher) They are still used in China. In China, we don't use 你 for both male and female. –  Derek 朕會功夫 Jun 14 '12 at 20:36
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Not sure if it is a standard character in mainland Mandarin. I never use it in my life and have only seen it in very limited situations.

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In what situations have you seen it? –  dusan Jan 22 '12 at 3:55
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