Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

What Is the Feminine Gender? (with Examples)

What Is the Feminine Gender? (with Examples)

Feminine gender is one of three genders in English grammar. The three genders for nouns and pronouns are: Here are the associated singular pronouns:

GenderPronounPossessive Adjective
(a type of pronoun)
Absolute Possessive Pronoun
masculine pronounshe
Example: He is happy.
Example: This is his car.
Example: This is his.
feminine pronounsshe
Example: She is happy.
Example: This is her car.
Example: This is hers.
neuter pronounsit
Example: It is happy.
Example: This is its bone.
Example: This is its. (rare)

Unless obviously male (e.g., man, boy, bull) or female (e.g., lady, vixen, sow), nouns tend to be neuter by default in English.

An animal can be referred to as it, or he or she when the sex is known. Large machines, such as ships and trains, which - by default - are neuter, are sometimes affectionally called she.

You Can Use he to Mean He and She

He is often used in formal writing to represent both he and she. Similarly, his is used for his and her. For example:
  • Each employee is to place his/her name next to his/her locker.
  • (Not wrong, but too unwieldy)
  • Each employee is to place his name next to his locker.
  • (An acceptable, common practice)
Interactive Test