When we talk about gender in English we can use either nouns (men & women) or adjectives (male & female). Let’s have a look at how to use these words.
The words man and woman are singular nouns, and men and women are the plural forms of the nouns.
- The man talking to Joe is his boss.
- There are several men wearing baseball caps on the train.
- I met a woman who works at the zoo.
- The women sitting in the café are speaking Portuguese.
The words men and women can also be used in compound nouns. We usually use these words to describe things, not people. Here is are just a few examples:
- Men’s room Not, male’s room.
- Men’s suits, men’s shoes, men’s hats Not, male’s suits.
- Men’s singles, men’s doubles Not, male’s singles.
- Women’s room Not, female’s room.
- Women’s dresses, women’s shoes, women’s hats Not, female’s suites.
- Women’s singles, women’s doubles Not, female’s singles.
The words male and female are adjectives. We use these words to describe people & animals, not things:
- There are more and more female CEOs and politicians these days.
- Do male flight attendants earn the same as female flight attendants?
- My dog Happy is a female, and my sister’s cat is a male.