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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > What are you?    

What are you?



Baadache
Canada

What are you?
 
Hi,
 
I want just to confirm sth.
 
Does it exist the question:
 
1) What is he? He is a student.
 
2) What ´s your mother? She is a teacher. 
 
 Thank you  

8 Nov 2018      



redcamarocruiser
United States

No, although understandable, that is not correct. To inquire about someone ´s profession  we ask, "What does he do?"   
"What does his mother do?" 

8 Nov 2018     



Baadache
Canada

But does the question :What are you? exists!
 

8 Nov 2018     



redcamarocruiser
United States

Again, the normal way to inquire about a person’s profession is “What do you do?” not “what are you”.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=91HcTWmcvfk Jenniferesl  explains at 3:18 in the video that "although grammatically correct, these questions don´t sound polite or natural" (What are you? and What is your job?)


8 Nov 2018     



redcamarocruiser
United States

8 Nov 2018     



yanogator
United States

Yes, the question "What are you?" exists, but it would be considered rude, because it implies that the person is not human.
 
Bruce 

8 Nov 2018     



redcamarocruiser
United States

     
I agree with Bruce. ´What´ is used for objects/things. At Halloween when trick or treaters come to your door dressed in costume, it is OK to ask them, "What are you?" And they will proudly tell you,  "I ´m a fairy, cowboy, etc..."
 
 

8 Nov 2018     



Baadache
Canada

   Thank you friends SO MUCH for making such a point clear to me.

12 Nov 2018