"What are you?" or "Who are you?"

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Anonymous

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Hello,

I read a sentence like this "What are you? My mother or soemthing?"
My question is that "who are you" seems to make more sense to me?
So, can I replace "what" with "who?" And if both will do, which one is more common? Many thanks.


best regards
Paula
 

RonBee

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paula said:
Hello,

I read a sentence like this "What are you? My mother or something?"
My question is that "who are you" seems to make more sense to me?
So, can I replace "what" with "who?" And if both will do, which one is more common? Many thanks.

My guess is that that is taken from a conversation that is somewhat confrontational. "What are you? My mother or something?" is perfectly idiomatic. I guess you could say the "or something" makes the "What" appropriate. Another way of saying it, perhaps, would be: "Who do you think you are? My mother?" In neither case is the person asking a question. He or she is, instead, making a confrontational statement.

Regards,
RonBee

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Tdol

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What is used, I think, to suggest a role rather than a person. :shock:
 
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