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  1. #1
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    Default this is Paul, is that Jane?

    This is from my grammar book regrading phone conversation, but I've never heard of that for the other party when you answer a call. Is it possible?

    ex)Hello, this is Paul, is that Jane?

  2. #2
    Mannysteps is offline Member
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    Default Re: this is Paul, is that Jane?

    Not a teacher

    I think of it this way: "this" for the immediate surround of the speaker, "that" for what is outside it. Now for the other side expressing surprise:

    - Hello, yes, this Jane. Is that really Paul?

    M.

  3. #3
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: this is Paul, is that Jane?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    This is from my grammar book regrading phone conversation, but I've never heard of that for the other party when you answer a call. Is it possible?

    ex)Hello, this is Paul, is that Jane?
    As strange as it might seem, "this" for both phrases is often (maybe more often) heard.

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: this is Paul, is that Jane?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    This is from my grammar book regrading phone conversation, but I've never heard of that for the other party when you answer a call. Is it possible?

    ex)Hello, this is Paul, is that Jane?
    As usual, I don't know if this is another BrE vs AmE divide. For me, referring to the person on the other end of the phone as "that" is perfectly normal.

    - Hi. This is Jane. Is that Bob?
    - Yes. This is Bob. Is that Jane Taylor or Jane Simmonds?
    - It's Jane Taylor.

    - Hello.
    - Who's that?
    - It's Jane. Who are you?
    - Oh, sorry, this is Bob. I was looking for Sarah.

    The only occasion I can think of when I would use "this" to refer to the other person involved in the call is if I had asked them several times who they are or for their name and they had not given me a suitable answer. In the end, in frustration, I would probably say:

    Who IS this?!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: this is Paul, is that Jane?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    As usual, I don't know if this is another BrE vs AmE divide. For me, referring to the person on the other end of the phone as "that" is perfectly normal.

    - Hi. This is Jane. Is that Bob?
    - Yes. This is Bob. Is that Jane Taylor or Jane Simmonds?
    - It's Jane Taylor.

    - Hello.
    - Who's that?
    - It's Jane. Who are you?
    - Oh, sorry, this is Bob. I was looking for Sarah.

    The only occasion I can think of when I would use "this" to refer to the other person involved in the call is if I had asked them several times who they are or for their name and they had not given me a suitable answer. In the end, in frustration, I would probably say:

    Who IS this?!!
    I agree. You could look at it like this, "Hi. This is Jane (here). Is that Bob (over there)?"

  6. #6
    riquecohen's Avatar
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    Default Re: this is Paul, is that Jane?

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    As strange as it might seem, "this" for both phrases is often (maybe more often) heard.
    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    As usual, I don't know if this is another BrE vs AmE divide. For me, referring to the person on the other end of the phone as "that" is perfectly normal.
    This is certainly an AmE/BrE difference. I have only heard "that" used for the receiver of the call, when I was in England.

  7. #7
    sunsunmoon is offline Member
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    Default Re: this is Paul, is that Jane?

    Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary
    this
    usage When asking who you are speaking to on the phone, you use the pronouns this in U.S. English and that in British English.
    ▪ (US) Hello. Is this John? = (Brit) Hello. Is that John?


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