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who am I to...? | who are you to...?

This page is about the conversational phrase who am I to...? | who are you to...?

Meaning

You can use this to question whether you, or someone else, has the right or authority to do something.

For example

  • "Why don't you tell him he's made a mistake?"
    "Who am I to tell a doctor he's made a mistake? I'm just a nurse."

  • "Who are you to tell us what to do?"
    "I'm an adult, and you're just kids, so I have every right to tell you what to do!"

Note:
Also "who are we to...?", "who are they to...", "who is he to...?", etc. These can all be used in the same way as "who am I to...? and "who are you to...?"

Quick Quiz

Max said, "Who are you to tell me not to cheat?" He'd been told not cheat by

a. his teacher

b. another student

c. his father

Contributor: Matt Errey