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    #1

    He or It

    'Who's that boy?'
    a) it's Tom
    b) he's Tom
    c) either

    Ok, I can't make queries any simpler that this. Now it's up to you!
    Thanks everyone
    Oh, I nearly forgot! This is yet another doubt aroused by a so-called authoritative Longman grammar book.

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    #2

    Re: He or It

    I'd go for 'It's Tom', but I'd appreciate a NATIVE SPEAKER's opinion.

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    #3

    Re: He or It

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    'Who's that boy?'
    a) it's Tom
    b) he's Tom
    c) either Both are said, but it is generally not very nice to refer to a person as "it" when you know the person's sex. I would use "he".

    On the other hand, if someone knocks on the door and I go to see who it is, you will ask me 'Who is it?', and I will say 'It's Tom.'
    Because we initially didn't know whether it is a he or a she, we will use "it" throughout.



    Ok, I can't make queries any simpler that this. Now it's up to you!
    Thanks everyone
    Oh, I nearly forgot! This is yet another doubt aroused by a so-called authoritative Longman grammar book.
    2006


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #4

    Re: He or It

    Further to the post above, and someone at the door:

    In a room of people:
    He: Who's that boy?
    She: That's Tom from the bakery/That's Tom, John Smith's son.

  1. engee30's Avatar
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    #5

    Smile Re: He or It

    I've got something else to add as well:

    Jason: Who's Jennifer?
    Mike: She's my girlfriend, you stupid!



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    #6

    Re: He or It

    Both are correct.

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    #7

    Re: He or It

    Well, as a kid I was taught to say:

    A: Who's that man?
    B: IT's (or THAT's) Mr Jones
    A: Who is Mr Jones?
    B: HE is my brother's boss.

    As a teacher this is how I have always taught this grammar item. Grammatically speaking IT refers to 'that man' so it should be 'he'; the thing is, in this dialogue A is asking for general identification. It could well have been 'Who is that?'. Again, I have grammar books written by native speakers confirming this. All your comments are, of course, quite welcome (why else would I have submitted this query otherwise????)
    Thanks everyone!

  2. engee30's Avatar
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    #8

    Thumbs up Re: He or It

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    Well, as a kid I was taught to say:

    A: Who's that man?
    B: IT's (or THAT's) Mr Jones
    A: Who is Mr Jones?
    B: HE is my brother's boss.
    I was taught the rules concerning this issue in the same way.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: He or It

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    Well, as a kid I was taught to say:

    A: Who's that man?
    B: IT's (or THAT's) Mr Jones
    A: Who is Mr Jones?
    B: HE is my brother's boss.

    As a teacher this is how I have always taught this grammar item. Grammatically speaking IT refers to 'that man' so it should be 'he'; the thing is, in this dialogue A is asking for general identification. It could well have been 'Who is that?'. Again, I have grammar books written by native speakers confirming this. All your comments are, of course, quite welcome (why else would I have submitted this query otherwise????)
    Thanks everyone!
    You are correct.

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