Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Apr 2012
    • Posts: 769
    #1

    Who or What we are.

    While reading English articles, I often come across such sentences as follows.

    He is not what he used to be.

    Could I use "who" in place of "what"?

    We should focus more on who we are than what we do.

    Could I replace "who" with "what" here?

    To sum up, I get a little bit confused over "who" or "what" when they are used in the case of describing a person.

    Thanks for your help!

    Jason

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,815
    #2

    Re: Who or What we are.

    For me, what would focus more on their role or performance and what on their character.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,215
    #3

    Re: Who or What we are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    For me, what would focus more on their role or performance and what on their character.
    I think you meant the second "what" to be "who"?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Apr 2012
    • Posts: 769
    #4

    Re: Who or What we are.

    He is not what he used to be. I think it means that he is not what he looked like or his character is not what it was. It also focuses on his character.

    Is there any other explanation?

    Thanks!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •