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  1. #1
    englishhobby's Avatar
    englishhobby is offline Key Member
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    What is it? It's my cat.

    Could you please help me change the following exchanges (if necessary) to make them sound more natural?

    Model 1:
    “What is it? (What’s this?)” “It’s Pepsi, my cat.” (“It’s my cat, Pepsi.”)
    Model 2: “What are these? ( What are they?)” “They are Wheels and Whiskey, my cats, .” (“They are my cats, Wheels and Whiskey.”)

    Or should I ask "Who is it?" and "Who are these?" about cats?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. #2
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: What is it? It's my cat.

    "What" certainly doesn't work here, because the answer to that is a cat (or cats).
    "Who" is possible, but if you actually think about it, we don't even say that when we're introducing people!
    Let's say I'm invited to someone's home, and a cat walks in. I might say: "What's the name of your cat?"

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: What is it? It's my cat.

    If I were in someone else's house and a cat strolled in, I would bend down to stroke it and probably say "Awwww. Who's this?"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. #4
    bubbha is offline Senior Member
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    Re: What is it? It's my cat.

    If the cat was in another room, out of sight, and caused some disturbance, "what" is more natural.

    "What was that?" "Oh, it's just Pookie, my cat. He must have knocked something off the table."
    NOT A TEACHER. Translator and editor, and I hold a TESOL certificate. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

  5. #5
    englishhobby's Avatar
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    Re: What is it? It's my cat.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    If I were in someone else's house and a cat strolled in, I would bend down to stroke it and probably say "Awwww. Who's this?"
    And if two cats strolled in, woud you say "Awwww. Who are these?"?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  6. #6
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: What is it? It's my cat.

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    And if two cats strolled in, woud you say "Awwww. Who are these?"?
    It's possible, yes.
    I am not a teacher.

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: What is it? It's my cat.

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    And if two cats strolled in, woud you say "Awwww. Who are these?"?
    Hmmm, I'd probably add something after "these" - maybe "beautiful creatures" or "cute kitties".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. #8
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: What is it? It's my cat.

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    And if two cats strolled in, would you say "Awww. Who are these?" ?
    A single question mark suffices.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: What is it? It's my cat.

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    And if two cats strolled in, would you say "Awwww. Who are these?"?
    I would. I use who for pets. I would, like Emsr2d2, probably add something more.

  10. #10
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: What is it? It's my cat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Two question marks are required, one for the main question and one for the quoted question:

    And if two cats strolled in, would you say "Awww. Who are these?"?
    I prefer to follow The Chicago Style Guide:


    When the question mark in a title or question comes at the end of a sentence that would itself require a question mark or period, the additional question mark or period is omitted.

    Have you read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

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