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  1. #1
    optimistic pessimist is offline Member
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    Default Word Order: What do you think was the greatest invention of the 20th century?

    Dear all,


    I would like to ask which word order is better in each pair?

    1. What do you think was the greatest invention of the 20th century?
    2. What do you think the greatest invention of the 20th century was ?

    3. Who do you think is the person?
    4. Who do you think the person is?

    Thank you!

    OP

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Word Order: What do you think was the greatest invention of the 20th century?

    3 is incorrect. 2 is best, but you might hear #1 in speech.

  3. #3
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Word Order: What do you think was the greatest invention of the 20th century?

    When the verb of a wh- question is BE, the longer the subject of that verb, the more likely you are to hear the 'wrong version. So,

    Who do you think the person is?
    Who do you think is the person?

    Who do you think the person who keeps sending you those strange emails is?
    Who do you think is the person who keeps sending you those strange emails? /?
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  4. #4
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Word Order: What do you think was the greatest invention of the 20th century?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    When the verb of a wh- question is BE, the longer the subject of that verb, the more likely you are to hear the 'wrong version. So,

    Who do you think the person is?
    Who do you think is the person?

    Who do you think the person who keeps sending you those strange emails is?
    Who do you think is the person who keeps sending you those strange emails? /?
    As an admitted "hypercorrectionist" and one who abhors "dangling verbs 'to be' ", what about, "Who do you think the person is who keeps sending you those strange emails?".

  5. #5
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Word Order: What do you think was the greatest invention of the 20th century?

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    As an admitted "hypercorrectionist" and one who abhors "dangling verbs 'to be' ", what about, "Who do you think the person is who keeps sending you those strange emails?".
    Personally, I have no problem with that in speech. I probably wouldn't write it.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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