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Thread: "What is that?"

  1. #1
    Ju is offline Senior Member
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    Default "What is that?"

    Tom said , "What is that?"

    Bo replied,
    1. That is my dog.
    2. It is my dog.
    __________________________________________________ _______________

    For Bo's reply, I always believe the answer 1 is correct. But I found the answer 2 was in the textbook of English grammar for the same question. Can anybody help to clarify?


    Ju

  2. #2
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: "What is that?"

    Usually if the item or object being inquired about belongs to the person answering the question, he will respond with "it is" or "it's" rather than "that is."

    For example, Fred is in his driveway washing a rusty, dilapidated old car. His friend John stops by and asks with a slight laugh "What the heck is that?" Fred replies with pride, "It's my new car." "New?" John scoffs. "It looks 10 years old at least." "Well, it's new to me, I saved my money for a whole year to buy this."

    Second example: John and Brian arrive at Fred's house and see Fred washing this beat-up old vehicle. "What is that?!" Brian asks John. "That," John replies with a sigh, "is Fred's new car. Don't joke about it, he's very proud of it."

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    Ju is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: "What is that?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    Usually if the item or object being inquired about belongs to the person answering the question, he will respond with "it is" or "it's" rather than "that is."

    Does it mean there is no situation to reply as that is?

    For example, Fred is in his driveway washing a rusty, dilapidated old car. His friend John stops by and asks with a slight laugh "What the heck is that?" Fred replies with pride, "It's my new car." "New?" John scoffs. "It looks 10 years old at least." "Well, it's new to me, I saved my money for a whole year to buy this."

    1. Does it mean it's wrong if Fred repllied as That is my new car?
    2. Is what the heck only an jokinly phrase.
    3. Shoud the kids pick up this expression?
    4. Can I put it in a formal writing?
    5. Can I say it to my boss?

    Second example: John and Brian arrive at Fred's house and see Fred washing this beat-up old vehicle. "What is that?!" Brian asks John. "That," John replies with a sigh, "is Fred's new car. Don't joke about it, he's very proud of it."
    What does it of beat-up?


    Ju

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    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: "What is that?"

    Usually if the item or object being inquired about belongs to the person answering the question, he will respond with "it is" or "it's" rather than "that is."

    Does it mean there is no situation to reply that is? No. Ouisch said 'usually'.

    For example, Fred is in his driveway washing a rusty, dilapidated old car. His friend John stops by and asks with a slight laugh "What the heck is that?" Fred replies with pride, "It's my new car." "New?" John scoffs. "It looks 10 years old at least." "Well, it's new to me, I saved my money for a whole year to buy this."

    1. Does it mean it's wrong if Fred replied That is my new car? No.
    2. Is what the heck an informal phrase? Yes.
    3. Should children pick up this expression? It's OK for children to say it. I've heard them say a lot worse.
    4. Can I use it in formal writing? No.
    5. Can I say it to my boss? Yes.
    What does beat-up mean? Damaged.
    Rover
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 02-Aug-2011 at 08:26.

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