Are you who you say you are on Facebook?

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Man_from_India

Senior Member
India
In BBC news tweet I got this sentence :
"Are you who you say you are on Facebook? "

What is the meaning of this sentence? The "you" after "who" is bothering me.
But I am sure it is right as it's from a reputed source. Can you please explain?
 
  • Man_from_India

    Senior Member
    India
    Well put it this way, making it assertive sentence:
    You are who you say you are on Facebook.
    To make it simple I'm adding "one": You are the one who you say you are on Facebook.
    It sounds like the speaker is talking to himself. It will mean like you suggested if we omit "you" after "who" in the original sentence.
    Please help.
     

    cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    "Who you say you are on Facebook" is a noun clause acting as complement. Reversing the question form, the sentence becomes "You are who you are...."
    "You say you are (your name, profession, qualifications, body shape, etc.) Is this true?" is the upshot of the question. The grammar of the original is fine.
     

    Man_from_India

    Senior Member
    India
    Your explanation is correct but when I am going through the original sentence it seems something else. It still confuses me. Please have a look at post #3.
     

    Hau Ruck

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I've read post #3 and really don't understand what you mean.

    Adding "the one" does not make it simple to understand.

    It does not sound like the speaker is talking to him/herself.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Let's say I have a Facebook account under the name Marilyn Monroe. I claim to be Marilyn Monroe. I say I am Marilyn Monroe. You are naturally sceptical, and say to me: 'You say you are Marilyn Monroe, but are you really Marilyn Monroe?'

    I say I am Marilyn Monroe on Facebook. Marilyn Monroe is who I say I am on Facebook. (That gives us two pronouns.) With this version, you are still sceptical and ask about this identity - who I say I am on Facebook - by saying, 'Are you who you say you are on Facebook?' (There's the three pronouns all in a row.)
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    "Are you who you say you are on Facebook? " = "Are you the type of person that you describe on the Facebook page that has your name?"

    There is a hanging question of, "or are you just pretending to be like that?"
     

    Man_from_India

    Senior Member
    India
    Thank you everyone I got it.
    And entangledbank and PaulQ presented the best explanation. But others also have good contributions.
     
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