it is John Dow

azz

Senior Member
armenian
a. We want to know where one of your employees was last night. It is John Dow.
b. We want to know where one of your employees was last night. That employee is John Dow.
c. We want to know where one of your employees was last night. He is John Dow.

Are all of the above sentences natural?
I'd say they are all OK, but I feel that maybe "c" better be avoided in contexts where some of the employees are women.

Many Thanks.
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    a. It is John Dow. = it is John Dow whose whereabouts we wish to know

    b. That employee is John Dow. = this sounds melodramatic, as in a badly written detective story – everyone was expecting it to be Jane Smith! It would be, “That employee is [dramatic pause] John Dow!” [Everyone looks shocked, dramatic music plays.]

    c. He is John Dow. = sounds a little awkward mainly because “He is John Dow.” Would normally be heard when someone asks, “Who’s that man there?” It doesn’t matter if John Dow is the only male – the “he” refers to the male.

    By the way, the usual anonymous name is John Doe (originally AE), Dow rhymes with how.
     
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