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   Chapter 10 16), material objects may be spoken of like gender nouns; for example,—

An English Grammar By William Malone Baskervill Characters: 829

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:04

"Now, where the swift Rhone cleaves his way."


The Sun now rose upon the right:

Out of the sea came he.


And haply the Queen Moon is on her throne,

Clustered around by all her starry Fays.


Britannia needs no bulwarks,

No towers along the steep;

Her march is o'er the mountain waves,

Her home is on the deep.


This is not exclusively a poet

ic use. In ordinary speech personification is very frequent: the pilot speaks of his boat as feminine; the engineer speaks so of his engine; etc.

Effect of personification.

In such cases the gender is marked by the pronoun, and not by the form of the noun. But the fact that in English the distinction of gender is confined to difference of sex makes these departures more effective.



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