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Hello. I'm an English teacher here in Brazil, and recently I've seen something really weird (at least for me). In the book we are using there is a situation in a restaurant where the waiter comes to the costumer and says: "Who's the fish?" And later on "Who's the steak?"
Now, I've always thought the correct question should be "Whose is the fish?", or the steak... But the book presents this Who's question as the correct one...
Is it alright? Is that really possible?
Thanks for the help,
Ivana
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metonymy? The ham sandwich never tips. Emotion: smile
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Hi Guest from Brazil,

You don't mind that kind of context-bound phrase. That is kind of a phrase that is used and makes sense only in restaurants. It is kind of a degenerated form of "Who is [the person who ordered] the steak?" Similar phenomena take place in our language – Japanese. I myself cry once a week "I'm an eel" in a Japanese style restaurant where eel BBQ is served. But I don't know if Koreans would say "I'm a dog."

paco
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Hi Ivana,

Formally, you are correct, of course. However, 'who is the fish' has become current in popular speech (especially in restaurants). I seem to recall that there is even a rhetorical term for this, but it has slipped my mind at the moment. Perhaps another member's memory is in better condition.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
 paco2004's reply was promoted to an answer.
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