A rooster - he or it?

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  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Sometimes one is used, sometimes the other, sometimes both are OK but the choice depends on context. Could you give us some?
     
    Well, something like this:
    Early in the morning a rooster in my neighbour's yard started crowing; his/its loud yelling woke me up even though I had been going to spend the whole morning in the kingdom of Morpheus.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I would use "its" here. In the case of animals whose gender is obvious, if you are feeling friendly/sympathetic towards them, use he/she, otherwise use 'its'. 'Its' has a nuance that ranges from neutral to derogatory, whereas he/she is usually positive as it anthropomorphizes them.
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Two things:

    1. I would only add that if, in your story, the cockerel becomes a personal enemy (or friend), 'he/him/his' can be introduced.

    2. "a rooster in my neighbour's yard" -> rooster is AE; neighbour's is BE. 'yard' is AE if you mean 'garden' or BE if you mean 'farmyard.'

    Rooster (AE) = Cockerel (BE)
    Neighbor (AE) = Neighbour (BE)

    (We English speakers do this to make English even more difficult. :D)
     

    mink-shin

    Senior Member
    Korean - Korea, Republic of
    Hi, I've been studying English, watching the TV Show called Friends.

    I heard this show's stars' dialogue that is somewhat weird to me and made me curious.

    Please see below.

    Context : Joey and Chandler have been raising their pet, which is a chick and now is becoming a rooster.
    Joey: It’s the chick! She’s…going through some changes.
    Monica: What kind of changes?
    Chandler: Well the vet seems to think that’s she’s becoming a rooster. (The rooster crows.) We’re getting a second opinion.
    Source : Friends 04-12
    I don't get why Joey and Chandler call their pet 'she'? Is there any chance that a rooster is female? Or... It's just a joke regarding a woman as a chick? I thought it would be a misogynistic joke but I doubt it, because it is a TV Show. So I couldn't figure it out myself, that's why I'm posting this post.

    Thank you for reading this post.
     

    Juhasz

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Do you know how to determine the sex of a juvenile chicken? I don't. Neither do Chandler and Joey. When they got the chick, they assumed for whatever reason that it was female. As it matured, it became apparent that it was not female, but male.

    It's not really possible for a female chick to become a male rooster (and there are no female roosters). If the characters had wanted to explain the circumstances in a non-funny way, they would have said, "It turns out we were wrong; the chick is actually male." Instead, they made it a joke by suggesting that a female chick was becoming a male rooster.
     

    mink-shin

    Senior Member
    Korean - Korea, Republic of
    Do you know how to determine the sex of a juvenile chicken? I don't. Neither do Chandler and Joey. When they got the chick, they assumed for whatever reason that it was female. As it matured, it became apparent that it was not female, but male.

    It's not really possible for a female chick to become a male rooster (and there are no female roosters). If the characters had wanted to explain the circumstances in a non-funny way, they would have said, "It turns out we were wrong; the chick is actually male." Instead, they made it a joke by suggesting that a female chick was becoming a male rooster.
    Hi, Juhasz.

    I see.

    Thank you for replying me. :)
     
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