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    #1

    what is

    Hello

    I'd like to know what is the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church to such things as enlightenment.

    --- It seems to me that the above is not a typical question, so in my opinion it should be: I'd like to know what the attitude of the Roman Catholic Churchto such things as enlightenment is.

    --- What if I put "is" after the word "Church"?


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    #2

    Re: what is

    I think all three of those variations work about equally well.

    The reason for using "what is" is that there is a tendency to want to place the verb as close to its subject as possible.

    I don't think these sentences are particularly elegant, but I also don't think that there's much to choose among the three of them.

    Possibly, in a short piece where every detail mattered a great deal, a careful writer would just start over again:
    "I'd like to know the Catholic Church's attitude toward such things as enlightenment."

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    #3

    Re: what is

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post

    ... a careful writer would just start over again:
    "I'd like to know the Catholic Church's attitude toward such things as enlightenment."
    Exactly!


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    #4

    Re: what is

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    Hello

    I'd like to know what is the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church to such things as enlightenment.

    --- It seems to me that the above is not a typical question, so in my opinion it should be: I'd like to know what the attitude of the Roman Catholic Churchto such things as enlightenment is.

    --- What if I put "is" after the word "Church"?
    This is really a noun clause, so "is" should come after the subject "the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church" and not before it. That clause is written as an interrogative, which makes the sentence wrong. As a clause by itself, a sentence that is to say, it's correct.

    What is the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church to such things as enlightenment.

    Now we can change it and make it a complex sentence.

    I'd like to know what the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church is to such things as enlightenment.

    Every now and then you'll native speakers of English, in the US at least, use a complex sentence that has a noun clause incorrectly.

    Here's something to check out: Noun Clause Phenomena.

    I think that there's such a strong tendency to want to invert the auxiliary and the subject after a "wh" word or "how" to form a question that people lack the courage to form the sentence correctly. It's that, or it's just language incompetence.

    People refer to complex sentences that use noun clauses as indirect questions and embedded questions when the main clause is in interrogative form. This can make one sound more polite - less direct. I think the "embedded question" label is weak. I don't use it. I just call the whole thing "noun clauses".

    Could you, please, tell me if your company is going to be open on Columbus Day?

    Is your company going to be open on Columbus Day?

    Be is really an auxiliary.

    They don't know what they're doing.

    The auxiliary "be" comes before the verb "doing".

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    #5

    Re: what is

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    "I'd like to know the Catholic Church's attitude toward such things as enlightenment."
    Hi

    I've been taught that most often we write something like this:
    the Catholic Church's attitude when we refer to humans, i.e., Tom's ball, and when we refer to things we should rather use "of",i.e., the attitude OF the Roman Catholic Church.
    But maybe things have changed.

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    #6

    Re: what is

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    That clause is written as an interrogative, which makes the sentence wrong.
    So, in your opinion the sentence: I'd like to know what is the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church to such things as enlightenment is incorrect?

    I can't recall the case when despite the fact that the sentence is an indirect question we should write "what is" instead of "what ......... is"

    cheers


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    #7

    Smile Re: what is

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    So, in your opinion the sentence: I'd like to know what is the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church to such things as enlightenment is incorrect?

    I can't recall the case when despite the fact that the sentence is an indirect question we should write "what is" instead of "what ......... is"

    cheers
    Yes, it's incorrect. But it's not my opinion. It is, in fact, incorrect.



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    #8

    Re: what is

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    Hi

    I've been taught that most often we write something like this:
    the Catholic Church's attitude when we refer to humans, i.e., Tom's ball, and when we refer to things we should rather use "of",i.e., the attitude OF the Roman Catholic Church.
    But maybe things have changed.
    It's possible to use "of" for possession to highlight importance or something that stands out.

    the Catholic Church's attitude

    the attitude of the Catholic church

    Both are correct, but the second one shows more respect, while making "Catholic Church" a possessive noun by using an apostrophe is very ordinary, though not necessarily disrespectful.

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    #9

    Re: what is

    Hi

    So the only correct version of my sentence is then: I'd like to know what the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church is to such things as enlightenment.


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    #10

    Re: what is

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    Hi

    So the only correct version of my sentence is then: I'd like to know what the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church is to such things as enlightenment.
    Yes, that's correct. Using "of" instead of making "the Catholic Church" a possessive noun is optional, however. Just the same, it's best to use "of" to highlight the importance of the Catholic Church, and in so doing create a more respectful and formal tone. That's what the purpose of using "of" is here. It doesn't make it correct or incorrect either way as far the grammar is concerned, in this particular sentence. Some other rewrites posted earlier in the thread are also correct, but are not in keeping with the structure of a noun clause, which is the structure first intended to be used in this sentence.

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