1

Does the following sentences sound natural?

Can you call yourself a good teacher?

You did the excellent job, so you call yourself a genius.

What I am trying to say that I think the persons has some qualities to be considered something.

  • You did the excellent job is not natural sounding. It's possible, in a narrow context, to use the definite article, but as a general statement it should be you did an excellent job. – Jason Bassford Oct 13 '19 at 5:16
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Yes, the sentences sound natural.

Call in these sentences doesn't mean "think" but implies you'd declare or "name" yourself the thing.

Can you call yourself an artist?

Isn't about if the person thinks they are an artist, it's about if the person claims they are an artist. The two are often related, but they are slightly different ideas.

One example of where claiming to be something differs from believing you are something is Engineering. Even if a person believes they can solve engineering problems, even if a person has attended University and obtained an engineering degree, and even if they are working as an engineer, they cannot call themselves an Engineer until they pass a State Certification Board's requirements.

So the question

Can you call yourself an Engineer?

Might not be a question about their belief, but just a question about their legal right to use that title.

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  • "they cannot call themselves an Engineer until they pass a State Certification Board's requirements." - USA specific. – Michael Harvey Oct 10 '19 at 8:20
  • @MichaelHarvey Yes, and many countries have similar standards. Few countries permit yourself the liberty of calling yourself "Doctor" without some form of government approval. Lawyer is another controlled term, for most countries. – Edwin Buck Oct 10 '19 at 8:37
  • Unfortunately, these days, many people who are technicians or not even that, call themselves 'engineers', e.g. plumbers say they are 'water supply engineers'. My dad was an electrical engineer who managed power networks, commissioned generating plant, etc, and it really annoyed him if people thought he spent his days wiring lamps or outlets. "That's what electricians do' he used to say. – Michael Harvey Oct 10 '19 at 8:41
  • @MichaelHarvey I know, they even called me a software engineer once. That said, I was a software engineer who worked for Engineers who build electrical distribution networks. So, I learned this detail early on. It's a shame that "task-engineer" became so commonplace. The real engineers work a lot harder than most might think to earn their title.. – Edwin Buck Oct 10 '19 at 8:57
  • My father said an engineer is someone who can make, for one pound, what any damn fool can make for five pounds. – Michael Harvey Oct 10 '19 at 11:40

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