In a song I know, there's the line:

Who's more of a beast?

The rest of the lyrics around this makes it clear that it should mean something like "Who is more like a beast?" or "Who as more characteristics of a beast?".

So the 's, does it refer to is or has in this context?

How would one say this?

Who is more of a beast? or Who has more of a beast?

I would think "is", but in German one would rather use the direct translation of "have"...

  • Well, the meaning becomes a little bit funny (as in strange) when you translate it to has, don't you think? Oh, and welcome to ELL!
    – M.A.R.
    Jul 24 '15 at 17:37
  • Lyric interpretation questions are often problematic, but if you can give more context, this might be answerable. Jul 24 '15 at 17:43
  • @NathanTuggy I edited to add clarification. Jul 24 '15 at 17:47
  • 2
    Isn't this already self-answered? After your edit, you're just saying I know it's a) but is it really a)?
    – M.A.R.
    Jul 24 '15 at 18:14
  • @inɒzɘmɒЯ.A.M The question is not what the meaning of that sentence is (because I know it), but whether the correct way to say it is "who is..." or "who has...", as the song line uses the abbreviated version "who's..." which may mean any of those. Jul 24 '15 at 19:10

It's fairly common in English to say that a person or a thing is "more of an X", meaning that it more closely resembles X than it resembles Y, or that it resembles X more than other things do. Likewise, we say that it is "a bit of an X" or "something of an X" or similar phrases, meaning that it has some characteristics of X.

Example: "A modern cell phone is more of a computer than a telephone." It is more like a computer than it is like a telephone.

"Jack is a bit of a trouble-maker." Jack may not fully qualify as a trouble-maker, but he has some of the characteristics of a trouble-maker.


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