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https://www.duolingo.com/Shinespike

Gender neutral determiners (Spanish)

Hi all.

So I was working on the determiners section and reading through the footnotes before selecting a lesson. I read the differences between Ese/Este versus Eso/Esto but what about gender neutral for plurals? For example, if I don't know the gender of some dogs, how would I phrase it? I was thinking "Esos perros" but that implies a masculine affinity. Similarly, "Esas perros" is the same thing, just with a feminine affinity.

Or, does it even matter what affinity to use with an unknown gender for plural (In day to day life I've just defaulted to the masculine). Thanks!

4 years ago

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/dustycotton

If I recall my Spanish classes correctly, you would default to the masculine if the gender is unknown.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlvaroBern1

In case of doubt , always go for male.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Julian_L.

If you don't know the gender, you should to use the masculine form:

  • Esos perros

In animals, the female gender is rarely used. If the dogs are females but you say «Esos perros», «Estos perros»… is accepted.

Besides, is not correct say «Esas perros» because "perro" is male, you must to say «Esas perras».

Is not 100% recommended use female form in animals because in Spanish words "Perra" (female dog), "Gata" (female cat), "Zorra" (female fox)… are synonyms of "prostitute".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/arismartin

I agree with the most of your post but there is no problem whit the use of feminine with the animals. I have a female cat and I always refer to her as "mi gata"... We would have a problem if we address ourselves to a person with an animal noun. For example, when a woman is called "gata" or "perra". I guess that in English it happens too. I guess that if a woman is called as an animal in English some connotation will appear.

On the other hand, the masculine form doesn't ensure you a safe way. If you refers to a Spanish or Argentinian as "burro" :-D "Houston, we have a problem"... Instead, all nouns are not pejorative, if you say "eres un lince" ... "You are a lynx" you are considering him as a sharp individual.

I agree that there is to have caution with these things, the rule is "don't call anyone as an animal if you are not sure of what you are doing"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shinespike

Thanks everyone for the input!

4 years ago