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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Would you say:"Who with?"    

Would you say:"Who with?"


Would you say:"Who with?"
I am preparing a worksheet with key words to help students write about a given topic. I would like to know if there were some people with them, but I do not want to ask the whole question, so may I just write "who with?" meaning: "who were you with?" or "was someone with you?"
Do you think it is correct?
Thanks a lot in advance for your replies and explanations.

21 Jun 2013      

maryse peyé

Personally I would use the 1st sentence : "who were you with ?" but the 2nd is right too.
In the 1st case there might be some kind of suspicion or reproach "You are late ! Who were you with ?",
the 2nd is more neutral and completes previous explanations "Well, I was at the cinema." "Was someone with you ? (= someone who can confirm what you said).
Hope it may help.

21 Jun 2013     

United States

Maryse gave good answers. I would like to add that you can only say "Who with?" if it is in the context of a conversation:
I went to a movie last night?
Oh, who with?
Outside of that, you need the whole question. Which question you use depends on the situation.
If you are asking about a particular time, you would use "Who were you with?"
    Who were you with last night?
    Who were you with when I saw you at the mall?  (because of the word "when")
If you are talking about a location/event, use "Who was with you?"
    You never go to movies alone. Who was with you last night?
If  you were with a group, then "Who were you with?" is more common, because you were a part of their group. If you were leading a group, though, that makes you more important in the sentence, so "Who was with you?" might be the better choice.
However, for your suggestion as a substitute for a general question, it won ´t work.
I hope this isn ´t TMI.

21 Jun 2013     


Ok! I see! Thanks a lot for your explanations, Maryse and Bruce!

22 Jun 2013