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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    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. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
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      • British English
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      • England
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      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,596
    #2

    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. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: May 2010
    • Posts: 1
    #3

    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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