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ESL forum > Ask for help > Baby : He or She or It ? Need Instant Reply -- Immediately !!!!    

Baby : He or She or It ? Need Instant Reply -- Immediately !!!!


Baby : He or She or It ? Need Instant Reply -- Immediately !!!!

What is the Pronoun of "Baby" -- he, she or it?

When referring to “Baby, Child and Infant" which are common gender, unless we clearly wish to refer to sex, and lower animals, we have to use “IT” as the Pronoun. We can say: Baby boy / Baby girl -- My aunt had a baby boy last month.

Oxford Advance Learner ´s Dictionary” by A. S. Hronby, 7th Edition, Page No: 824, Right Column—under “it” (2), it is given as "IT".

Her baby’s due next month. She hopes it will be a baby.

Am I right? Please reply immediately.

Thanks in advance. :-)

15 May 2012      


When you do not know if it is a boy or a girl you should use "it"

15 May 2012     


I think so.

But please click on the link


Here a person is contending with me on this point.

Thanks a lot.

15 May 2012     

United States

You should say "She hopes it will be a boy" or "She hopes it will be a boy", NOT "She hopes it will be a baby."  Of course it will be a baby, not a horse or an adult. 

Hope that helps. 

In the case you posted about on facebook, the baby is already born, and as such it has a known gender.  If the gender is known, you can ´t use "it", because it dehumanizes the poor little baby. 

If the gender is still unknown to the speaker, you use "it". 

15 May 2012     

United Kingdom

Dear Imdad,
When I am talking about a baby whose sex I do not know, I always refer to: "The baby".
"When is the baby due?" "When will the baby be born?"  "How old is the baby?"  "Is the baby weaned yet?" (no longer drinking the mother ´s milk, but is eating solid food).  "Is the baby walking yet?"  "Can the baby talk yet?"
When the mother answers, she says: "Yes, SHE can say Mam", OR: "Yes, HE can say Mam", or whatever is the appropriate answer.
For example, if she gives the first answer, "SHE", I know that the Baby is a LITTLE GIRL.  If she uses, "HE", I know that the Baby is a LITTLE BOY.
From this point on, I use "She", or "He", as appropriate, when describing the Baby.
Take my advice, NO MOTHER likes her Baby to be referred to as an "IT"!
Sometimes, the Mother will reply in an angry voice to an "IT" question: "SHE is not an "IT".  SHE has a NAME!  SHE is a GIRL!  Her name is MARGUERITE!" --- (for example.)

16 May 2012     

United States

Most mothers don ´t have a problem if you use "it" while the baby is still in utero, such as "When is it due?" It ´s not Standard English (yet), but after the baby is born, you ´re probably better off using "they" if you don ´t know the gender, just as many people do for an adult if the gender is unknown. I believe "they" for the pronoun of a person whose gender is unknown will be standard in 20 years.

16 May 2012     

United Kingdom

Semantically singular they IS standard now and has been so since the time of Chaucer. It is "well established in fine literature and completely natural in both conversation and writing".
(Huddleston & Pullum, A Student ´s Introduction to English Grammar, 2005)

Check Merriam-Webster ´s Dictionary of English Usage too... for a more detailed explanation.

16 May 2012     

United Kingdom

Yeah, I agree about ´they ´ but not in this case. I think a mother would look at you askance if you looked at her baby and said ´Are they weaned yet? ´ I suppose it ´s slightly rude to say ´it ´, but maybe, if you were in a pub trying to relax and an unknown baby was screaming blue murder, you may think to yourself, ´ Listen to that baby! I wish it would stop howling, ´ Wink

16 May 2012