Is that who that is?

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Darla was just finishing up Joan Darling’s blow-dry when Max came into the Upper Cut.
“There’s your husband,” Joan said.
Is that who that is?” Darla said. Shut up, Joan.
fan fiction

Another example, the movie "Charly"- Pardon me, Mr. Roberts, but have you met your son: short little guy, crawls around a lot?
- Oh, is that who that is?
- That's who that is.



Explain to me, please, the grammar of this phrase and what it means.
Thank you.
 
  • MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    Darla was just finishing up Joan Darling’s blow-dry when Max came into the Upper Cut.
    “There’s your husband,” Joan said.
    Is that who that is?” Darla said. Shut up, Joan.
    fan fiction

    Another example, the movie "Charly"- Pardon me, Mr. Roberts, but have you met your son: short little guy, crawls around a lot?
    - Oh, is that who that is?
    - That's who that is.



    Explain to me, please, the grammar of this phrase and what it means.
    Thank you.
    In the first example, think of "Is that who he is?"

    In the second case, think also of "Is that who he is?"

    In both cases "that" is being substituted for "he." It'[s a way of trying to be funny/clever by objectifying the husband and the child as a "that" instead of a "he." English slang usage, but not necessarily incorrect grammar.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I'm afraid I don't understand "Is that who he is?", too:)
    What kind of question is this?
    E.g.: - Is that who that is? In case of the movie:
    The first "that" refers to his son, the second to "short little guy, crawls around a lot", right?
     

    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    I'm afraid I don't understand "Is that who he is?", too:)
    What kind of question is this?
    E.g.: - Is that who that is? In case of the movie:
    The first "that" refers to his son, the second to "short little guy, crawls around a lot", right?
    The speaker is calling the person "that" instead of "he." That is to say, the speaker is treating the husband and the child as if they were things rather than people. Depending on whether the "that is" is stressed or not, it would just be either casual usage or an attempt (humorous) to disparage (when it's stressed).
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The speaker is calling the person "that" instead of "he." That is to say, the speaker is treating the husband and the child as if they were things rather than people. Depending on whether the "that is" is stressed or not, it would just be either casual usage or an attempt (humorous) to disparage (when it's stressed).
    I think this is taking us off track. It's perfectly normal to use "that" for a person.

    "Who is that over there?"
    "I believe that's President Obama."


    What is wrong with that usage?
     

    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    Not sure I agree.

    If you see someone and you don't know who they are, you might ask "Who is that?" (Who? That guy over there. That person I am pointing to.)

    In this case, it's "Is that who that [person I've been wondering about] is?"
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    "He's Jason Biggs."
    "Oh, is that who he is?
    It's like "Oh, is that Jason Biggs who he/that is?"
    And when one says "Is that who that is?", they stressing the first "that".
    have you met your son: short little guy, crawls around a lot?
    - Oh, is that who that is?
    - That's who that is.
    =
    - Oh, is that my son who the short little guy is?
    - Your son is who the short little guy is.


    Do I correctly understand?
    :)
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Have you met your son: short little guy, crawls around a lot?
    - Oh, is that who that is? -> Oh is my son the short little guy, [who] crawls around a lot?
    - That's who that is. -> your son is the person who I have described
    .
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Have you met your son: short little guy, crawls around a lot?
    - Oh, is that who that is? -> Oh is my son the short little guy, [who] crawls around a lot?
    - That's who that is. -> your son is the person who I have described
    .
    Please, one thing, just to be sure.
    I'd like to leave all unchanged: the two "thats" denote different things and to not omit "who" and "is":
    - Oh, is that who that is?
    - That's who that is.

    - Oh, is my son who the short little guy is [who] crawls around a lot is?
    - Your son is who the short little guy is [who] crawls around a lot is.
    Is that what you meant?
     
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