Can "give birth to a child" and "produce a child" be used interchangeably?

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Senior Member
I am going to make up two sentences below.

(1) Mary gave birth to (or produced) two sons in the UK and one daughter in Mexico.

(2) John's wife has planned to give birth to (or produce) three children when she is in her thirties.

May I ask two questions?

(A) Can I use "give birth" and "produce" interchangeably in my sentences?

(B) In (1), is it OK to say "two sons and one daughter" instead of two boys and one girl?

Please answer my two questions. Thanks a lot.
  • Retired-teacher

    Senior Member
    British English
    I agree that "produce" doesn't sound right.

    "Gave birth to" in 1 is not wrong but may be better as "had"

    "Give birth to" in 2 is not wrong but may be better as "have"
    Last edited:

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    'Gave/give birth to' isn't natural in either sentence.
    About the first, I think we'd be more likely to make a sentence using 'born in ... '. 'Gave birth to in [country]' sounds a little as if she deliberately waited until she was in those countries, or travelled to them, to actually give birth to the children.
    'Have' could also be misunderstood without a wider context. Perhaps it means that the children live in those countries.
    "Mary's two sons were born in the UK and/but her daughter was born in Mexico"

    For the second, 'have' is much better.
    "Mary plans to have three children when she's in her thirties."


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    (1) Mary gave birth to two sons in the UK and one daughter in Mexico.

    I don't see anything wrong with the first sentence. (We have been given no context though. :() Perhaps gave birth to "two boys... and one girl" sounds more natural.
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