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  1. #1
    achilles is offline Newbie
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    Default about embedded questions

    I've learned that when a question is embedded in another sentence, the word order of the question needs to be changed.

    I know the following interrogative sentence is right.

    Do you think? + Who is he? --> Who do you think he is?

    But I couldn't possibly understand why English speakers use both of the followings. Which is correct? Are both of them correct?

    1. Who do you think is the best actor?

    2. Who do you think the best actor is?

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: about embedded questions

    Hello Achilles

    You're right: native speakers do use both forms. The standard version is this:

    1. Who do you think the best actor is?

    But when the noun phrase is quite long, some (but not all) speakers are uncomfortable with the long wait for the verb, and use your first structure instead, e.g.

    2. Who do you think is the best actor in the history of French cinema?

    However, you will never hear:

    3. Who do you think is he?

    (Which perhaps demonstrates that the structure in #1 is the standard.)

    MrP

  3. #3
    achilles is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: about embedded questions

    Thanks to your reply to my question, I can understand that.

    Actually I got a B.A. in English language and literature just a month ago, but I never had a chance to get some comments on that question.

    I really appreciate your kindness, and I hope I get some more knowledge of English grammar.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: about embedded questions

    Can you point me to a grammar reference that treats the issue

    (We know who the best actor is / We know who is the best actor )?

    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    engee30 is offline Key Member
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  6. #6
    Charlie Bernstein is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: about embedded questions

    Achilles - They're both fine and mean exactly the same thing.

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