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  5. "Sekretæren har tandpasta på …

"Sekretæren har tandpasta sin tandbørste."

Translation:The secretary has toothpaste on her toothbrush.

November 20, 2014

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wtrdavies

How do we know the secretary is female from this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xneb

You can't know, both "his", "here" and now the gender neutral "their" are all accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wtrdavies

Cheers. I put 'their' and it was deemed incorrect, hopefully it has changed now


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kingthatcher

It has changed. I used "their" (which seems the most natural to me) and it was accepted. Apparently using they as a gender-neutral pronoun is not generally accepted, yet in my dialect it is used all the time for everyone. I thought this was universal -- apparently not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/epac-mcl

That's interesting. I am a native English speaker, and I have never heard of "their" being used for a singular person such as "the secretary. May I ask, which dialect do you speak?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wojo4hitz

Sure you have! "Who left their umbrella in the office?" Surely it is only one person's umbrella. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wtrdavies

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they

Like kingthatcher I assumed 'their' for gender-neutral was fairly universal. Otherwise, when gender is not known, what does one use? What would you say epac-mcl? My dialect is from England. London to be more precise


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZL321

Really? I've always used the singular they.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/epac-mcl

OK, wtrdavies. The penny has just dropped. You are completely right, and I would add that it isn't just dialectical. I overlooked the unknown gender part of your comment which makes a big difference.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kingthatcher

Minnesotan English with heavy central Pennsylvania influences


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/epac-mcl

That's logical


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZL321

Haha, I actually guessed they were female.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wojo4hitz

How many of you just jumped to it being a she?! :P #sexstereotypes


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/howhollow

I was thinking, is there no gender neutral word, such as the English 'their'?

'Hen' is sometimes used in Sweden after all...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ycUvuSap

The Swedes have adopted the Finnish hän (we do not have gender-specific pronouns), but the other Scandinavians, as they live farther away, have not yet followed suit, as far as I know.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmarracc

Hint offers "wears" (har ... på).

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