Give birth

NHHL

Senior Member
Singapore-English
- Through a ex-coworker I know that my ex-boss (female) has just given birth to a baby. My ex-boss was a good boss so I really pay attention to her. I want to call and ask her when she gave birth and it's a boy or a girl. Do I have to say like this in this context?

A. When did you give birth? A boy or a girl?
B. When was your baby due? A boy or a girl?

Thanks so much,

NHHL
 
  • Istarion

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello NHHL,
    If you ask B, what you're asking is when the baby was expected to arrive, not when it actually arrived. A is all right, though. I think the most natural way to ask about the time of birth would be "When was the baby born?".
    -I
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There are two parts to this question. Firstly I would make a complete sentence by saying "Is it a boy or a girl?" You are allowed to use 'it' the first time you ask. After that you must use 'he' or 'she'.

    A. "When did you give birth?" is technically correct but the usual expression is "When was the baby born?" :tick:

    B. "When was your baby due?" is wrong in this context because it has already been born. You could say "When did the baby arrive?" :tick:

    Summary
    Neither of your versions is perfect. I would recommend:

    "When did the baby arrive? Is it a boy or a girl?"
    or
    "When was the baby born? Is it a boy or a girl?"

    (cross-posted)
     
    Last edited:

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Context and Background:

    I met someone in my neighborhood (She's not a Chinese) and I talked to her. She told me her daughter wasn't born in Brazil. (She's from Brazil.) And I was surprised and asked the question:

    Where did you give birth to your baby? (I want to know where she gave birth to her daughter since she said it wasn't done in Brazil.)

    Thoughts:

    I looked up "give birth" and I found many useful threads. But I still have some doubts. After reading those threads, I don't think my phrase sounds natural. I think if I am going to ask the question, I should say:

    Where did you have your baby?
    Where did you bear your baby?

    But only the first one sounds natural to my ear. And my question is, besides the above choices, I wonder if I can ask "Where was her born"? (Her refers to her baby.)

    Thanks a lot
     

    JordyBro

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    If you want my perspective, what is wrong with "when did you give birth?" is that it sort of sounds like you want to know about her process of giving birth, more than the baby itself and her new motherhood. Instead of "is it a boy or a girl?", I would expect something like "did you see your placenta?" or "was it bloody" to be the follow-up question
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Considering that the baby's birthplace has already been established as the topic I think it would be fine to pose the question as you did, using "give birth". I do not share JordyBro's reservations about it.

    On the other hand the most simple way to say it is:
    "Oh, where was she born, then?"
     
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