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    #1

    Who's she/it?

    John: There's a man standing at the door. Who's ______?
    Mary: _____ Mike.
    What words should we use to fill in the above blanks?


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    #2

    Re: Who's she/it?

    (Not a teacher)

    I would say:

    John: There's a man standing at the door. Who's he?
    Mary: It's Mike.

    Although, I have trouble with the contracted 'Who's'. I feel it should be uncontracted, 'who is he', with a particular stress on 'is'. Contracted 'who's' feels better when used for longer sentences. Short ones sound better uncontracted. I dont know if this is a rule, or just what sounds better.

    Certainly, I've never heard 'Who is it?' said as 'who's it?'. (except when playing a common playground game)

    'Who's he' sounds right when it comes as a reply to someone else's utterance, for example:

    John: There's a man standing at the door.
    Mary: It's Mike.
    John: Who's he?

    'Who's he?' sounds correct here, and 'who is he?' would sound wrong, unless the stress was on 'he' and not 'is'.


    My guess for the reason why different ones 'sound' better is because of stress. Uncontracted forms normally stress the verb, contracted ones stress the object.
    Last edited by Linguist__; 08-Jan-2010 at 03:19.

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    #3

    Re: Who's she/it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Linguist__ View Post
    (Not a teacher)
    Certainly, I've never heard 'Who is it?' said as 'who's it?'. (except when playing a common playground game)
    Why can we say 'who's it' while playing a common playground game?
    What does 'it' mean when we say 'who's it' while playing a common playground game?
    Last edited by sitifan; 08-Jan-2010 at 04:25.


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    #4

    Re: Who's she/it?

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    Why can we say 'who's it' while playing a common playground game?
    What does 'it' mean when we say 'who's it' while playing a common playground game?
    'It' is a common playground game here. It's name is known as various things. Wikipedia says:

    Tag (also known as it, tips, dobby,chasey, tig, tick, and many other names) is a playground game played worldwidethat involves one or more players chasing other players in an attempt to "tag" or touch them, usually with their hands. There are many variations. Most forms have no teams, scores, or equipment.

    In such a game, the person/people who is/are 'it', are the one's who are chasing other players trying to touch them to make those other players 'it' too. When I hear 'who's it', it is requesting to know which players are doing the chasing. The stress is on 'it'.

    The reason I added it in that post was because I said 'never' about hearing 'who's it', and 'never' is a lie; I have heard 'who's it', but only in that game.

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    #5

    Re: Who's she/it?

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    John: There's a man standing at the door. Who's ______?
    Mary: _____ Mike.
    What words should we use to fill in the above blanks?
    You can also say:
    John: Who's that?
    Mary: That's Mike.

    Probably more common, since "he" has already been nominated as the topic:
    John: There's a man standing at the door. Who is he?

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