Learn English – How to interpret “Who are you?”


This might be kind of vague, but I was thinking about this the other day. When someone asks "Who are you?", what are they really wanting to know? Is your name really enough to explain who you are? Maybe the answer represents what you think of yourself… or maybe I'm just taking this way too philosophically.

Best Answer

If the situation is more social, it is more likely to be a request for an introduction. In that case responding with your name, and how you fit into the group socially ("I'm Joe, Jeff's friend from college.") should be fine.

If it is more professional, it is more likely to be a request for your role / function in the situation. "I'm Joe Smith, the lead programmer on project Y. I work with Mr. Gates's team."

It does depend on context, as well as the manner in which it is asked, though.