What is 'that' in 'is that you?'

The options given are:

  1. adverb
  2. adjective
  3. noun
  4. none

I'm pretty sure adverb is not the answer but I'm confused whether it's 'adjective' or 'noun'. It is referring to 'YOU' but not used in the form 'that shop', so perhaps it's noun?

closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, tchrist Mar 5 '17 at 14:37

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  • 2
    None of them are correct. That in this sentence is a pronoun; specifically a singular distal demonstrative pronoun. – John Lawler Mar 4 '17 at 22:03
  • @JohnLawler Yes, but I think that makes the correct answer "none", as in "none of the above". – Laurel Mar 4 '17 at 22:14
  • None doesn't normally mean NOTA; here it could mean "no part of speech". Who knows what nonsense they've been taught about "parts of speech"? – John Lawler Mar 4 '17 at 22:21
  • 1
    It is a pronoun, used as a noun. No telling what the test meant. – Hot Licks Mar 4 '17 at 22:53

It's a noun.

It's better to rephrase in a non-question form as follows to see it better:

That is you

In this case, "That" is the subject while "You" is the object.

There is no reason why you couldn't have 2 or more nouns in the same noun-group.


It's a noun. The speaker perceives a thing (e.g. the sound of a door, a voice in another room) and is led (e.g. by circumstance or incomplete recognition) to believe that the thing is a particular person. The thing is that and the person is you.

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