I asked a person to guess my nationality from my accent. And after a few attempts he figured it out. Then I said:

"What was it that that gave it/me away?"

I'm not sure if I should use 'it' or 'me' here and what difference they make. Can I also say- "What gave it/me away."

  • 1
    "What gave it/me away?" is also fine, yes. Personally I would prefer that cause it's simpler and less formal. – wjandrea Jul 18 '20 at 17:26

Either. Your accent gave it (your nationality) away, or it gave you away as a person of that nationality.

  • 2
    This is correct. To expand a little: "What gave it away?" = "What clue led you to the answer?" "What gave me away" = "What clue did I let slip / What mistake did I make in my attempt to conceal the answer?" They're mostly interchangeable but if deception or concealment was really desired, you'd go with me and not it. – Ross Presser Jul 20 '20 at 18:33
  • Thank you for the answer. I'm still a little confused about 'me'. What gave IT away= my nationality, and what gave me way=?? – Ashraf Jul 22 '20 at 15:45
  • 1
    If your accent gives you away, it betrays the fact that you are a person of a particular nationality, or from a particular region. – Kate Bunting Jul 22 '20 at 16:29
  • Thank you once again. So it is- It- my nationality and, me= me as a person who I was trying to hide. – Ashraf Jul 22 '20 at 19:49
  • Yes - although it doesn't necessarily mean that you are trying to hide what you are. You said you had asked someone to guess your nationality! – Kate Bunting Jul 23 '20 at 8:14

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