0

I wonder what he is.
(Random House Dictionary's #2, not from the linked online-version but from its paper version)

I suppose the sentence would mean ‘I wonder what sort [type] of person he is’ as Mister StoneyB says. But the Korean translating version of the dictionary interprets it as: ‘I wonder what job he does’ or ‘I wonder from where he comes’. Could the translating version’s interpretation be proper?

2

It depends, really, on the context.

John says he's a constant volunteer at the soup kitchen, but he makes very cruel jokes about poor people. I wonder what he is.

He's very knowledgeable about New Historicist literary theory, but he dresses like a man making seven figures. I wonder what he is.

He looks Oriental, but he speaks with a German accent. I wonder what he is.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It's Superman! --no, he just fell out of the sky. I wonder what he is - or was.

  • Is "no, it he just fell out of the sky", "no, it (is) he just fell out of the sky"? – Listenever Jul 13 '14 at 0:56
  • @Listenever Oops. You are now qualified to teach English 101 to college freshmen! – StoneyB Jul 13 '14 at 1:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.