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    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    #1

    Whaqt does this mean?

    Hi Teacher,

    If some native English speaker asks me 'What are you?" does this mean how are you?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Whaqt does this mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by lavanya Pandian View Post
    Hi Teacher,

    If some native English speaker asks me 'What are you?" does this mean how are you?
    No, it doesn't, it is a strange question and, coming from a native speaker, impolite.


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 22
    #3

    Re: Whaqt does this mean?

    One of my mexican collegue asked me this question, expected me to say i am fine. Is this some lkind of slang?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Whaqt does this mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by lavanya Pandian View Post
    One of my mexican collegue asked me this question, expected me to say i am fine. Is this some lkind of slang?
    You can't use 'what' in this way. You can say to someone, 'What is your job?' 'What do you do in your spare time?' for example, but not 'What are you?'

    By the way, if he is Mexican, is his first language not Spanish?

  3. bepina's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 29
    #5

    Re: Whaqt does this mean?

    He probably meant to say How are you?
    What are you would imply something like What kind of creature/animal/being are you? and as bhaisahab said, it does sound impolite..


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 22
    #6

    Re: Whaqt does this mean?

    Thankyou for explaining teacher. I think this collegue is not native english speaker.


    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 364
    #7

    Re: Whaqt does this mean?

    You certainly can say "what are you" but you need context. For example, "I am a teacher, what are you?", "I am English, what are you?".

    If someone said it as a opener, there is no context. They would be asking what kind of object I am. I would probably say "I am a horse", or some such silly answer to indicate that the question is silly.


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 22
    #8

    Re: Whaqt does this mean?

    :) i thought the same and i was going to say 'i am a woman' but i dint want to offend my collegue. With this regard, if my conversation started as

    Hi, how are you?
    i am fine. What are you?

    Does this means that the other person is asking about my well being?


    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 62
    #9

    Re: Whaqt does this mean?

    "What rare you" is kind of old fashioned and means "what's your job", and definitely not appropriate to start a conversation

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Whaqt does this mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by lavanya Pandian View Post
    :) i thought the same and i was going to say 'i am a woman' but i dint want to offend my collegue. With this regard, if my conversation started as

    Hi, how are you?
    i am fine. What are you?

    Does this means that the other person is asking about my well being?

    Hi, how are you?
    I am fine. What about you? This would be appropriate.

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