New answers tagged writing
A good example is numbers in Chinese. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_numerals#Standard_numbers
There are words that have different shapes(uncognated）yet share the same meaning in Mandarin. Written Mandarin is relately a new form of writing, words have been simplifed more than once during the 50s-80s (and even some of the words' pronounciaton have been altered). Sorry for just answering your TITLE. If what you meant by "Mandarin" is not the thing I ...
just remember this and you won't make any mistakes. 他 = he 他的 = his 她 = she 她的 = her 它 = it 它的 = its
As a local Chinese, I'd suggest @sotondolphin 's answer. Forget about the history usage, in my opinion, the key point is the target you would like to express to. For the modern Chinese people, "use 他 for male person, 她 for female person. 它 for animals both female and male." when you want to express a few people including both male and female, use 他们 as ...
As a matter of fact, (exactly as OP mentioned in the post), the character 她 has a history of fewer than like a hundred years. Therefore, it is actually kind of natural to use 他 when the person referred to is not so apparent. (Although not that politically-correct, phrases like his-or-her are rare in Chinese.) By the way, in places other than mainland China, ...
他can be used to represent male or female,but 她only represent female.if we do not confirm the gender,then we use他，such as God in some religion.
for the third party, we always use 他 for male person, 她 for female person. 它 for animals both female and male. but it's a little tricky when talking about "YOU", in mainland, we use 你 for both male and female, however you may encounter “女尔” mentioning "YOU" if you are female in tai wan and hong kong
In my experience, when referring to a single subject, I have never seen 他 used as a female pronoun. 她 is used for females, and 它 used for non-gendered or non-human subjects. Do note that 他 has meanings outside pronouns; it can have the meaning of "other". In these cases, 他 is used and never 她. Examples include 他人 (other people), 他乡 (a place far away from ...
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