In the quiz question: "Todos los estudiantes son estadounidenses ________. All the students are from the United States except us." the question refuses any answer with "nosotras". Surely "nosotras" should be as equally possible as "nosotros" in this response, or am I misunderstanding?
There is a standard rule in Spanish that when we are talking about a group of people [or things] which could have a mix of genders, the default form is masculine. So the "us" in this sentence is either all male, or a mix of female and male. If the "us" was an exclusively female group of people, then "nosotras" would be correct.
The question is indirectly telling you that the group is either mixed OR all male.
I hope this helps.
John is right by saying that as a "default" we use the masculine form to refer to a group including male and female. However, even this being the case, we can actually say "excepto nosotrAs" in this sentence, so: All students (all of them, boys and girls here) are from the U.S.A except for us. (us could be referring to two girls talking), so we can make that "us" female.
I'll add the options with "nosotras" to that question.
I understand and sympathise how a lot of Spanish ladies find that rule really irritating. In our local language school, the Head and the Deputy are both female, but there is one junior male teacher. When referring to themselves as a group, the Headmistress deliberately defies convention and uses nosotras !
There is actually a movement (gaining strength in Argentina, right now) to cultivate and encourage the use of gender-neutral terms like "nosotres" and "Latines" [= "Latinos" + "Latinas"].
In written form, another 'compromise' which is seen occasionally is nosotr@s, niñ@s etc.
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