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Learning English Grammar | Nouns and Adjectives male or men?


English grammar - nouns and adjectives male or men? female or women?

English grammar common mistakes | male or men?

  • There are now more opportunities for females within the police service. [incorrect]
  • There are now more opportunities for women within the police service. [correct]

  • The chart shows the number of hours worked by men and women employees. [incorrect]
  • The chart shows the number of hours worked by male and female employees. [correct]

Male and female can be used as nouns, but they are only used in very formal or technical writing, or when talking about animals rather than people.
  • The male tree frog sings to attract the female.

In most spoken and written contexts, we use the nouns man/men or woman/women:
  • Nursing and teaching degrees still attract more women than men.
  • The life expectancy for an average man in Switzerland is 77 years.

Male and female are used as adjectives in written and spoken English:
  • We have a roughly equal number of male and female students.
  • All the candidates on the shortlist were female.

In informal conversation, people sometimes use woman or lady before another noun instead of female:
  • a woman/lady doctor
  • a woman/lady golfer
  • a woman driver
  • She was the first woman president of Ireland

More common English grammar mistakes






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