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Thread: what or who?

  1. #1
    optimistic pessimist is offline Member
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    Default what or who?

    Dear all,

    In the sentence below, which do you think sounds better, what or who?

    My father made me [ what / who ] I am now.

    Thank you!

    OP

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: what or who?

    Quote Originally Posted by optimistic pessimist View Post
    Dear all,

    In the sentence below, which do you think sounds better, "what" or "who"?

    My father made me what/who I am now.

    Thank you!

    OP
    I prefer "who" in that context. You might say "what" if you're referring to the profession you have chosen, but if you are talking about the sort of person (personality) that you have become, then I prefer "who".

    Note that you don't need to put a space either side of a slash (/).
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    TheParser is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: what or who?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello,
    I believe that you can also say:

    My mother made me the person that I am today.
    My mother made me the person I am today.

    BUT: you cannot say: My mother made me the person who I am today.
    Why? Well, one scholarly book (among many) explains: "Who cannot be used in the predicative (because predicatives are felt as neuters)."

    I cannot explain to you what he means, for I have no idea what he is talking about!

    *****

    I am 75 years old. I am not the man (that) I used to be.



    James

    Reference: Otto Jespersen, Essentials of English Grammar (1964 reprint by the University of Alabama Press), page 363.

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