Do you know who I am?

johnL

Senior Member
USA, English
Sais-tu qui je suis?
Savez-vous qui je suis?
Est-ce que vous savez qui je suis?

Greetings, folks.
I was thinking about the scene in The Bourne Identity, where he has amnesia and is talking to himself in the mirror. I can't really understand his words, but the sub-titles tell, in English, what he is saying. So I was thinking of different ways he might be asking himself, "Do you know who I am?"
I would like to know if these are proper sentences, or if there's some basic grammatical flaw.
Thanks very much.
 
  • maybe4ever

    Senior Member
    US english
    I'm pretty sure that you can't use "qui" and then say je suis after it. I think only a verb can follow qui, as qui replaces the subject of the sentence.

    If the person is asking themself the question, Do you know who I am? I suppose they would just say: Qui suis-je?
    And if they were asking someone else I suppose: Dites-moi! Qui suis-je!?
     

    le chat noir

    Senior Member
    French
    Err... Well you will only have my word for that, but I can insure you the three sentences above are perfectly correct grammatically. "qui je suis" is the direct object complement of "savoir", just like "who I am" is the direct object complement of "to know". Using the same construct you could say "Sais-tu où est la gare ?", "Sais-tu quand part le train ?" or many other questions starting with "Do you know".

    "dites-moi! qui suis-je" would mean "Tell me! Who am I?", which is not the same as "Do you know who I am?".
     

    cropje_jnr

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    I'm pretty sure that you can't use "qui" and then say je suis after it. I think only a verb can follow qui, as qui replaces the subject of the sentence.

    If the person is asking themself the question, Do you know who I am? I suppose they would just say: Qui suis-je?
    And if they were asking someone else I suppose: Dites-moi! Qui suis-je!?
    Uh uh. You can even say simply qui je suis ? or qui je suis, moi ? I suspect "je suis qui" would be better, though.
     

    le chat noir

    Senior Member
    French
    All variants given by cropje_jnr are spoken French equivalents of "Qui suis-je ?".

    "je suis qui, moi ?" would insist further on "qui" and thus sound a bit more pressing than "qui je suis, moi ?".
    However, they are not the best translations for "Do you know who I am ?" (on the same language level it would be something like "Tu le sais, toi, qui je suis ?").
     

    maybe4ever

    Senior Member
    US english
    "dites-moi! qui suis-je" would mean "Tell me! Who am I?", which is not the same as "Do you know who I am?".
    I knew it meant, Tell me who am I. But at the time I wrote it I was thinking, Do you know who I am, was the same. They are very similar, and I need sleep. haha

    Au fait, thank you for enlightening me on the uses of "qui" in this particular case. I had just never seen qui followed by a pronoun before. I'm guessing this is a special case of qui when following savoir.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top