I would like to ask if we can say:

Ellos son Amanda (girl) y Pedro (boy).

If we have a group of people of the same gender it is quite obvious what word we have to use "ellos" or "ellas". But what if we have a mixed gender group?

Should we say "Nosotras" or "Nosotros" when we talk about a group in which there are men and women?

1 Answer 1


According to the Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas, in Spanish we use the masculine form to talk about collectivities, no matter the gender of its members.

For example:

  • Los alumnos may refer to either a group of exclusively male students or to a group of male and female students.
  • Los hombres prehistóricos may refer to both prehistoric men and women.

In your example, Ellos is the recommended article to talk about a group formed by a girl and a boy. Nosotros should be used as well when talking in the first person plural about a group with both masculine and feminine members.

That was, let's say, the official and recommended use of gender words regarding collectivities. However, I must say that nowadays it's becoming more and more common to use gender-inclusive forms of speech that require the use of both gendered articles when talking about groups: las y los alumnos; las y los españoles...

The Real Academia Española —the preeminent council that tries to regulate the use of Spanish— does not approve that approach.

  • 1
    Hope you don't mind the copyediting I did -- if so, please roll back. // Very interesting, what you said at the end. This makes me think of what I sometimes have to do when talking with my teenager about the concept "parents." Sometimes I catch myself, if I was going to say "los papás," but I think he might understand me to be talking about the fathers only, then I'll say "los papás y mamás," or "la mamá o el papá" -- for example, "Acuérdate, sólo puedes visitar a Fulano si está la mamá o el papá en la casa." Or: "si está un adulto." Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 4:48
  • @aparente001 not at all :) I'm not a native English speaker, so I make a lot of clumsy mistakes while writing. Thanks! And yep, I do hear a lot of parents talking like that to their children... strange how even young native Spanish speakers need that kind of clarification. Using the masculine to encompass both genders can be confusing.
    – prm296
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 5:25

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