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  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Indirect questions

    Can anyone explain this:

    "Who are you" transforms into "He asked me who I was", so the word order changes.

    But when someone asks "Who called you?", it turns into "He wanted to know who called me", so the word order doesn't change. Why is that??

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: Indirect questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Can anyone explain this:

    "Who are you" transforms into "He asked me who I was", so the word order changes.

    But when someone asks "Who called you?", it turns into "He wanted to know who called me", so the word order doesn't change. Why is that??
    1. I'm not sure exactly what you mean about word order.
    2. Why does "Who called you?" necessarily change to "He wanted to know who called me"?
    Why not: "He asked me who had called (me)."

  3. #3
    magenta is offline Newbie
    Join Date
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    Re: Indirect questions

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    1. I'm not sure exactly what you mean about word order.
    2. Why does "Who called you?" necessarily change to "He wanted to know who called me"?
    Why not: "He asked me who had called (me)."

    1. Well, in Who are you the word order is question word+verb+subject,
    in He asked me Who I was, the order is question word+subject+verb.
    (who=qw, I=subject, was=verb)

    But in Who called you the word order is question word+verb+ subject, and it is the same order in He wanted to know who had called me. (who=question word, had called= verb, me= subject)


    So in the first example (Who are you) the word order is changed in the indirect question, but in the second (Who called you) it is not changed. So why?

    2. Yes, I forgot the tense shift so I corrected it

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