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Tâm
Can I ask and answer as the follow conversations? 1 Can I ask and answer as the follow conversations? 2 Can "It" be insulting if I am calling a person? Is that person a diver? Yes, it is. Yes, it’s a diver. Yes, that’s a diver. That person is a diver, aren’t they? Yes, it is. Yes, it’s a diver. Yes, that’s a diver. Is that a diver? Yes, it is. Yes, it’s a diver. Yes, that person is a diver. That is a diver, isn’t it? Yes, it is. Yes, it’s a diver. Yes, that person is a diver. Thank you!
Sep 21, 2018 2:34 AM
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Answers · 9
"It" is for a thing not a person .
September 21, 2018
Tâm, in the sentences you provided, "it" is acceptable, because it's not referring to the person directly. Some languages have better ways of distinguishing the topic of a sentence from the grammatical subject, and this is an example of how that lack of clarity in English can be a detriment. If I say, "who's at the door," and you say, "it's my brother," the topic of the conversation isn't you're brother, it's the person at the door, so "it" is fine. However, if I ask, "Where's your brother," and you respond, "It's at the door," that's impolite. Now the topic is no longer the person at the door, the topic being discussed is you're brother. Hope this helps. Another way to look at it is this, instead of saying, "it's my brother," you could be long-winded and say, "The person at the door is my brother." Basically, anytime you might say, "the person...(something)" (in the case, the "person at the door") if it's already know you're talking about "the person...," you can replace it with "it."
September 21, 2018
I would say never use 'it' with a person. That means you have to decide between he and she. In modern language, people use 'they' if it's unsure. Now that transsexuals, etc. are accepted as such, you have to very careful about pronouns, but never 'it'. Sometimes young teenagers will use it as an insult, but you don't want to insult anyone, do you!
September 21, 2018
Hey Tâm! Using "it" for a person can be insulting but not always. Using "that's" is usually ok. Examples: "What does that man want?" "I think it wants to talk to us" Not polite. Should use "he" "That woman is my boss" Perfectly fine. "Who is at the door?" "It's my landlord" Perfectly fine.
September 21, 2018
I think it is OK now, except That person is a diver, aren't they? Yes, THEY are. Since you've already introduced the pronoun they.
September 24, 2018
Tâm
Language Skills
English, Vietnamese
Learning Language
English