Yes, <this><he> is my father.

呼喊细语

New Member
Chinese
I have a question," Is this your father?Yes, __is my father." I don't know choose "this" or "he", but the standard answer is "he", I wanna know "this" whether is right.Maybe this question is not reasonable in itself . Thanks.
 
  • 呼喊细语

    New Member
    Chinese
    . 99% of the time the answer is going to be a simple “yes.”
    If it's from grammatical perspective,this or he, which is correct?
    <Edited by moderator (Florentia52) to remove texting shorthand>
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    For me, "Yes, he's my father" doesn't work as a response to the question "Is this your father?" "he" needs an antecedent.

    - Is this your father?
    - Yes, this is my father.

    - Is Mr. Jones your father?
    - Yes, he's my father.
     
    Last edited:

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    It has an antecedent - the actual person or picture of a person being referred to by "this".

    And if it's a picture being pointed to, a normal response could be "Yes, that's my father".

    It's a lousy question as a test of grammar.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    It has an antecedent - the actual person or picture of a person being referred to by "this".
    It doesn’t have an antecedent. You can’t point to a picture of somebody and say “Look, he’s my father.” At least not in my variety of English.

    And if it's a picture being pointed to, a normal response could be "Yes, that's my father".
    I agree.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Maybe it’s a US/UK difference.

    Often a non-native speaker will say, in introducing himself and a friend, “Hi, I’m Alex, and he’s my friend Joe,” which sounds nails-on-chalkboard wrong to me. Perhaps it works in the UK.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I would expect "this" in that specific context, but if Joe was over the other side of the room, Alex could point and say either "that's" or "he's" and I'd consider both normal.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I would say the jury's still out on that. When I say "for me" I'm not suggesting it doesn't apply more broadly. I try not to be categorical because, yes, it could turn out to be a personal preference. We haven't heard from too many other people in this thread, so we don't have enough information to be able to draw broader conclusions.

    (BTW: I've only ever seen it spelled "idiolect." To avoid being categorical, I won't say yours is wrong. :D)
     

    呼喊细语

    New Member
    Chinese
    There's no such thing as a "standard answer".

    Grammatically? They are both correct.
    actually I also think so,but someone said "this" is not a right answer,I’m not convinced as a non-native speaker.So I asked for help through this forum,thank you for answering, it's a special experience for me by this way.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    American English (New England and NYC)
    If someone showed me a photo of my father by himself and said
    "Is this your father?"
    I'd probably answer with just some form of "yes" (yeah, yes, yep, etc.).

    But suppose someone shows me a photo of my father and his brothers and says "Which one is your father?".
    I myself would point to my father and probably say "that's my father" or "this one's my father" or "this is my father" or "that's him."

    But if, in the same situation (several men in one photo), I heard someone say "he's my father," I would take it as perfectly ordinary, standard English. I would definitely not think "Oh, they must not be a native English speaker," "They must be from some part of the US I've never lived in," "Funny, they've lost their British accent," etc.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    actually I also think so,but someone said "this" is not a right answer,I’m not convinced as a non-native speaker.So I asked for help through this forum,thank you for answering, it's a special experience for me by this way.
    I would agree with the person who told you that. I would expect the long answer to "Is this your father?" to be "Yes, that's my father" rather than "Yes, this is my father."
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    But if, in the same situation (several men in one photo), I heard someone say "he's my father," I would take it as perfectly ordinary, standard English.
    Do you mean in response to “Which one is your father?”?
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I would expect the long answer to "Is this your father?" to be "Yes, that's my father" rather than "Yes, this is my father."
    I think the version with “this” is possible. Imagine patiently answering a child:

    - Is this a cat?
    - Yes, yes, this is a cat (as I’ve already told you).
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hang on folks. There is no context in the original question. I agree with Elroy that a perfectly valid response to "Is this your father" is "Yes, this is my father." If I am standing with an older man who looks vaguely like me and somebody says "Is this your father" (and he is actually my father) I would probably say "Yes". I might say "Yes, this is my father" and I could say "Yes, he is my father". I most certainly would not say "Yes, that is my father."
     
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