ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Gender Agenda

In grammatical terms there is no gender system in English, as with many other languages like Bangla, Turkish, Korean and Thai--but unlike Hindi, which boasts grammatical gender in all its glory.

Many school textbooks of English ask children to change the gender of nouns; questions based on these exercises are often given in examinations. Children, for example, may be asked to change the gender of words like heir, landlord, son-in-law, woman, actor, nephew, etc. As you would notice, this is a small set and there is no regular rule that can be abstracted from this set to change the gender of nouns in English. In fact, there is no gender system in English in grammatical terms.

In later life, a person who has learnt English may wonder why a sentence like “Kareena Kapoor is a great actor” is both grammatical and acceptable. Even when the issues of male/female sex are involved, nothing changes in the structure of the sentence in terms of articles, adjectives or the verbal inflections as, for example, it does in the case of French, German, Russian or Hindi.

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