0

Is it ok to use 他 as a gender neutral personal pronoun (as it used to be before 她 was introduced) even if I know that the subject is female?

Example: 他是我妹妹 vs 他是我妹妹

2

First of all, there is only 他 in ancient Chinese. The invention of the font 她 comes from the influence of foreign languages in 1900s.

And there is no word in ancient Chinese contains the usage of IT as a gender neutral personal pronoun. Consulting foreign languages we borrow 它 as IT. 它 is actually the ancient word of 他. 它 means "other" in common use.

Therefore, when you use 他/她/它, try to think about it in your language and that's all clearly.

But someone uses 他 instead of 她 online, that's because they type too quickly to select the word...

1

No, you can't if you already know she is a woman. However, if you don't know the gender, you can use 他.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.