I'm trying to refer to a couple (man and woman), with a pronoun. Specifically what I'm trying to write is:

Consider a couple that comes to Rome. They may have pride for Rome.

What I have now is:

Consideremus advena duo qui advenent Roma. {Ei, eae or ea} habeant superbiam Roma.

So my question is when a pronoun refers to objects of differnt genders what gender is the pronoun?

  • 1
    Unrelated to the question itself, there are some problems with the proposed translation. This question was good and specific (+1), so if you want further feedback, I suggest taking to another question. It also sounds like this is work in progress, so of course take your time to polish it up and specify if you are unsure about something.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 5:28

1 Answer 1


In Latin (and most if not all other Indo-European languages that maintain noun genders), the masculine is used for groups of mixed gender. This comes from how the genders formed in Proto-Indo-European.

According to the prevailing theory, originally there were only two genders, animate and neuter. But there were certain common suffixes used on certain types of nouns, including women and other obviously-feminine things. So these started taking agreement markers of their own, and eventually split off into their own gender: the feminine. But this new gender was always less-well-established than the masculine, and some rules, like this one, go back to that quality.

(One of those suffixes, by the way, was used to refer to groups of inanimate objects. That one was eventually turned into the neuter plural; that's why neuter plurals always look like first-declension feminine singulars.)

Thus, in this case, you want .

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