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    • Join Date: Dec 2007
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    #1

    How will I know who you are?

    Hi,

    How can one explain the grammar of this sentence? Is it true to say that 'who you are' is the object, or is it something different?
    I look forward to receiving some replies.

    Cheers, Fuerther

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    #2

    Re: How will I know who you are?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuerther View Post
    Hi,

    How can one explain the grammar of this sentence? Is it true to say that 'who you are' is the object, or is it something different?
    I look forward to receiving some replies.

    Cheers, Fuerther
    (NOT a teacher) I think I can give you a high-school level explanation (perhaps someone else will give you a university-level explanation). I = subject; will know = verb; how = adverb that "modifies" the verb; you are who = a noun clause used as the object of the verb. Yes, in my humble opinion, you are correct in your analysis. (P.S. Of course, for the sake of analyzing " who you are," one has to put those words in "usual" order: you (subject) + are (linking verb) + who (subjective complement. A word that refers back to the subject, "you.")


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
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    #3

    Re: How will I know who you are?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuerther View Post
    Hi,

    How can one explain the grammar of this sentence? Is it true to say that 'who you are' is the object, or is it something different?
    I look forward to receiving some replies.

    Cheers, Fuerther
    Allow me to offer you my kindergarten level explanation.

    This sentence contains an embedded question (with the usual reversed word order), which functions as the direct object of 'will know':

    How will I know who you are?
    How will I know something?

    who = you = conjunctive connective pronoun; it introduces a nominal clause, as you can see from the parallel sentences.

    I will know something how?
    I will know something thus.

    how = an adverbial question word

    Reed-Kellog:


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    #4

    Exclamation Re: How will I know who you are?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuerther View Post
    Hi,

    How can one explain the grammar of this sentence? Is it true to say that 'who you are' is the object, or is it something different?
    I look forward to receiving some replies.

    Cheers, Fuerther
    Yes, “who you are” is the object of the verb ‘know’. This is an embedded question changed to statement order within another question.
    How will I know? (question-1, following question order)
    Who are you? (question-2)
    The second question is joined with the first, as a noun clause to act as the object of the verb ‘know’, by means of the connecting conjunction ‘who’ which is a relative pronoun. After merger, the noun clause follows the normal statement order, , as:
    How will I know who are you? (Incorrect)
    How will I know who you are? (correct, statement order)

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