A. Fabricius was Harvey's tutor.
B. Fabricius was the first to discover the valves of the veins.

If someone asks that what was Fabricius?; which answer can I give? A or B?

Who was Fabricius ? Which is more correct A or B.

1 Answer 1


When we ask about *someone's profession, we use 'what'.


What is your father? ~ He's a tutor

So, here, if someone is asking 'what is Fabricius', the answer should be Fabricius' profession.

What is Fabricius? ~ He was Harvey's tutor.

'What is someone?' to ask profession seems to be InE (Thanks NateEldredge).

  • 1
    I don't think this is idiomatic in contemporary American English. If somebody asked me "What is your father?", I'd be confused for a few moments and probably answer "Um... a human." I wouldn't interpret it as a question about his profession. The usual phrasing in AmE would be "What does your father do?" Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 5:28
  • @NateEldredge strange! I have grown up listening to 'what is your father' replied by 'A doctor' in India. I trust you and now have to 'delearn' it.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 5:40
  • It's completely fine in AmE to say "My father is a doctor" (and this would be a typical response to "What does your father do?"). So it would be logical to ask "What is your father?" - but that simply isn't usual in AmE. Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 5:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .