how to address a country?

asked May 06 '12 at 05:32 lubna New member

4 answers


Pronoun "she" is used to address a country.

link answered May 06 '12 at 07:57 Rahul Gupta Expert

I didn't find it to be uninformative that it should be downvoted. See more details here:
and here:

Rahul GuptaMay 06 '12 at 15:48

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In American usage, we generally use the gender-neutral "it" to refer to countries.


Rahul suggests "she" and that brings up an interesting cultural point. In some cultures/languages, the homeland is viewed as masculine, while in others it is viewed as feminine. For instance, Germans refer to their home as the "Fatherland" while to Russians, it is the "Motherland".


Because English does not use masculine and feminine noun and verb forms, we tend to adopt the neutral for all.  Unless you know, for sure, which gender is preferred by a country's residents, it is best to remain neutral.  Otherwise, you may inadvertantly insult those residents.

link answered May 06 '12 at 14:48 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

I read, don't know when and where, that she is used in British English.
The same is suggested here:
and here:

Rahul GuptaMay 06 '12 at 15:46

I think the American trend toward "it" comes from the same 1960s impulse that tells us to avoid "sexist" language. The Wikipedia article tells us that "she" is dying and notes the Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition, University of Chicago Press, 2010) discourages its use when referencing objects. I only hear/see it used in reference to ships these days. Does "she" remain prevelant in areas where the British influence remains stronger?

Jeff PribylMay 07 '12 at 04:09

It is still in practice in India where we follow British English.

Rahul GuptaMay 07 '12 at 08:30

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I would definitely use "it" for a country, except for more poetic contexts. 

link comment answered May 06 '12 at 12:57 Aura Raducan New member

The best answer is She. As we all know, we say motherland, therefore, using she can match with that statement. 

link comment answered Dec 01 '16 at 14:59 kantengwa Gloria New member

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