We use female and male to talk about the sex of people, animals and plants.

  • A female lion is called a lioness.
  • A male deer is called a stag.
  • How do we tell the difference between male and female plants?

We use feminine and masculine to talk about qualities and behaviours associated with men and women.

  • Chopping down trees is a very masculine thing to do.
  • The colour scheme is very feminine.

Note: Do not use male and female when men and women should be used.

  • These jobs are reserved for women (not females).

You can download these lessons as fully navigable PDFs at bridger-jones.com

Practical English Usage Lesson 20 Female and Male, Feminine and Masculine bridger-jones.com

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