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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
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      • Japan
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      • Japan

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 41
    #1

    Who is this?

    When you answer a telephone call, you may ask the caller "Who is calling?" or "Who is this?" Why do you say "this" instead of "that?"

    • Member Info
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      • England
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    #2

    Re: Who is this?

    I say 'Who's calling/speaking?' or 'Who is that?'

    North Americans say 'Who is this?' a lot.

    They'll tell you why when they get up later.

    Rover

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Who is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fujibei View Post
    When you answer a telephone call, you may ask the caller "Who is calling?" or "Who is this?" Why do you say "this" instead of "that?"
    I'm not American, but I imagine that a sound of a voice blaring away in your ear could be called "this". It makes as much sense as "that". Now, if it were a matter of "Who are you?" vs. "Who am I?", there'd be a problem.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Who is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    I say 'Who's calling/speaking?' or 'Who is that?'

    North Americans say 'Who is this?' a lot.

    They'll tell you why when they get up later.

    Rover
    I agree with Raymott's interpretation. When one is speaking to someone (even on the telephone), they are "close" enough for "this".

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