My friend requested me to meet him on Skype. And I searched him on Skype with his ID. The ID is matched but the account name isn't in English. So, I just want to make sure that he is Peter or not. I would like to ask him like

"Is this Peter?" or "Are you Peter?"

Which one is commonly use? And what is the differences between these two phrases?

  • "Are you Peter?" is ideal. You can also use "Is this Peter?" – Sin Sopheak May 27 '19 at 4:15
  • To me both look right. (a learner) – Cardinal May 27 '19 at 4:25
  • "it" is almost never used to describe a person. Notable exceptions would be a corpse or a baby of unknown gender, but even in those situations it can come across as inappropriate. You might say "Is it Peter?" in conversation if you were asking someone to confirm a name. For example, if you were trying to decipher a name that was handwritten with poor penmanship, or if someone told you their name, but you did not hear it clearly. – user95841 May 27 '19 at 4:28
  • 2
    You have edited your question to change it to this. "Is this Peter" is perfectly acceptable especially in this context. – user95841 May 27 '19 at 4:32
  • 1
    "Is this Peter?" is perfect and idiomatic. "Are you Peter?" sounds just a little awkward in this context, but it is not wrong. You would say "Are you Peter?" when directly speaking to a person in your physical presence, but not over the phone, e-mail or chat. – TypeIA May 27 '19 at 4:46

When talking on the phone it is perfectly OK - and recommended - to use:

"Is this Peter?"

Of course, it is still understandable if you use other sentences, but they do not sound as English.

If you prefer to be informal, you may use:

Hello Peter, is that you?


If the Skype account is "Peter", there is a big chance that the person at the other end is a Peter, but you will still not have the certainty that you reached the desired Peter.

To make sure you reached the correct person, ask some key question that a foreigner would not know the answer for. Be careful to avoid questions answerable with YES / NO.

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