No.1 is the example sentence of "storm" in my dictionary.

  1. Did that storm wake you up last night?
  2. Did you wake up last night because of that storm?

I feel like no.1 is an expression making fun of the other person.

Is there a difference between using a person and using something other than a person as the subject in a sentence?

  • The first sentence seems more succinct and to the point to me. The second is a bit unusual and wouldn't be heard as commonly. Typically, storms (or any event) are said to wake you up if they happen in the middle of the night. I don't understand what you mean by taunting expression. Jan 7, 2019 at 15:12
  • I'm not sure it's possible to get the gist of your problem here. Of course there's a difference between the two, and you've illustrated that with two different sentences using different subjects. That whether it would make sense would depend on the words you choose, so you should edit to clarify what exactly is "taunting" about the dictionary example.
    – M.A.R.
    Jan 7, 2019 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


Both are fine, but there's a different emphasis.

Did that storm wake you up last night?

This emphasises the storm - it's specifically asking whether the storm did something (in this case, wake you up).

Did you wake up last night because of that storm?

This emphasises the waking - I'd only use the second if I already knew you had woken up and wanted to know why (in particular, if it was the storm that did the waking).

As for whether the first sounds taunting, I would say not at all if read neutrally. However, practically anything can sound taunting depending on how you inflect the sentence. Both of those sentences could easily be spoken in a mocking tone.

  • Emphasis... and how I inflect the sentence.. I got it. Thank you so much.
    – JS.Kim
    Jan 7, 2019 at 19:01

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