One-man business& correctly gendering a one-woman business

Here’s how easy it is to correctly gender the words "one-man business" and "one-woman business.

You can use ‘one-man business’ and ‘one-woman business’ z. B. gender with a double denomination. We recommend the use of a Gender-neutral alternative.

    Singular: One-person company Unfortunately, we are not aware of a gender-neutral plural alternative. Choose a different gender style.

Gender styles

  • one-person-operation
    No alternative known
  • a one-man business or a one-woman business
  • one-man-operation/one-woman-operation
  • One-man operations and one-woman operations
  • One-man/one-woman operations

Not possible

For this term it is not possible to use your chosen gender style in the singular, because the omission test is not fulfilled.

Not possible

For this term it is not possible to use the gender style you have chosen in the plural, because the omission test is not fulfilled.

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Correct gendering works quite easily with only a few simple basic rules.

1. Recommended: Neutral wording

We recommend to always use neutral phrases if possible. This way you can gender according to the spelling rules and without compromising the readability of your text.

  • Singular: One-person company

In addition, neutral phrases are more inclusive because they address not only women and men, but also nonbinary people.

2. Double naming

When both the masculine and feminine forms of a word are spelled out in full, it is also referred to as a double entendre or paired form.

  • a one-man business or a one-woman business

This is a grammatically correct form of gendering. However, texts with many double nouns quickly become very long and difficult to read. Therefore, it is a good idea to use neutral phrases or a shortened form of gendering with special characters instead.

3. Gendering with the simple omission check

To find out whether a word can be abbreviated with slash, asterisk, underscore, indented I, or colon, make the Omission sample.

Cover the part of the word after the gender sign. If the word before the character complete, meaningful and grammatically correct? Only then can the words be contracted during gendering.

  • ‘The student’ is correct, but
  • ‘the students’ is wrong, because here the ending ‘en’ of ‘students’ would be lost.
  • Ein/-e Mitarbeiter/-in → is correct: ‘a male or female employee’
  • der/die Kund/-in → is wrong: ‘der Kund oder die Kundin’ – ‘Kund’ is not a word

Also check to see if the word makes sense when you read the part before and after the gender sign together:

  • ‘The employee’ is correct, but
  • ‘Of the employee’ is incorrect, as it would result in the word ’employee’ here.

Besides the slash, there are also other common gender spellings such as asterisk, underscore or colon. The principle remains the same: You simply put the appropriate character in place of the slash.

  • a/-e employee
  • one employee
  • one_employee
  • one:e employee:in
  • an employee


Only the abbreviated form of gendering with slash and hyphen is covered by the official spelling rules.

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