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    #1

    Word order

    Dear teachers,

    I would like to know if the word order in the following sentence is correct:
    "The question is whose ideas was it in the first place?"

    Is it an indirect question, so that it should read as:
    "The question is whose ideas it was in the first place?"

    Thank you very much.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Word order

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepurple View Post
    Dear teachers,

    I would like to know if the word order in the following sentence is correct:
    "The question is whose ideas was it in the first place?"

    Is it an indirect question, so that it should read as:
    "The question is whose ideas it was in the first place?"

    Thank you very much.
    If you report the direct speech, then it's:

    The question is, "Whose idea was it in the first place?"

    If it's indirect speech, it's:

    The question is whose idea it was in the first place.

    As you can see, you only use a question mark in the first example, because the actual question is quoted. In the second you are simply making a statement "The question is..." so it should simply finish with a full stop.

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    #3

    Re: Word order

    **Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.**

    And remember to use the word were when you're talking about ideas
    (So I guess it gets replaced with they as well?)

    Cheers!

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Word order

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    **Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.**

    And remember to use the word were when you're talking about ideas
    (So I guess it gets replaced with they as well?)

    Cheers!
    Yes, in the plural it would become:

    The question is, "Whose ideas were they in the first place?"

    The question is whose ideas they were in the first place.

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    #5

    Re: Word order

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    If you report the direct speech, then it's:

    The question is, "Whose idea was it in the first place?"

    If it's indirect speech, it's:

    The question is whose idea it was in the first place.

    As you can see, you only use a question mark in the first example, because the actual question is quoted. In the second you are simply making a statement "The question is..." so it should simply finish with a full stop.

    ---------Neither a teacher nor a native speaker-----------

    You can also write like this:

    The question is, whose idea was it in the first place?

    Am I wrong?
    Thank you.

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    #6

    Re: Word order

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    If you report the direct speech, then it's:

    The question is, "Whose idea was it in the first place?"

    If it's indirect speech, it's:

    The question is whose idea it was in the first place.

    As you can see, you only use a question mark in the first example, because the actual question is quoted. In the second you are simply making a statement "The question is..." so it should simply finish with a full stop.
    I have a little more difficult question.
    Is the following sentence a statement or just a polite question?

    I am calling to ask you what the number of the last invoice is.

    It is very close to:

    I wonder what the number of the last invoice is?

    Thank you.

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    #7

    Re: Word order

    Quote Originally Posted by sbrodsky View Post
    I have a little more difficult question.
    Is the following sentence a statement or just a polite question?

    I am calling to ask you what the number of the last invoice is.

    It is very close to:

    I wonder what the number of the last invoice is?

    Thank you.
    Neither of those are questions. They are both statements.

    (Grammatically, that is. They both would be understood as requests for information.)

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    #8

    Re: Word order

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Neither of those are questions. They are both statements.

    (Grammatically, that is. They both would be understood as requests for information.)
    So, should we put the question mark at the end:

    I am calling to ask you what the number of the last invoice is.
    I wonder what the number of the last invoice is?

    Thank you.

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    #9

    Re: Word order

    No question marks. They are not questions.

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    #10

    Re: Word order

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    No question marks. They are not questions.

    sbrodsky:
    So, should we put the question mark at the end:
    I am calling to ask you what the number of the last invoice is.
    I wonder what the number of the last invoice is?
    Thank you.


    SoothingDave:
    No question marks. They are not questions.

    sbrodsky:
    But some English forums
    (for example, http://www.eslbase.com/grammar/indirect-questions)
    recommend to put "?" here:
    I wonder where they have been?
    I was wondering if you could tell me what time is it?

    Though, the last sentence is not correct (on my opinion):
    I WAS - time IS.

    Some of them treat this kind of sentence as a polite question:
    I wonder what the number of the last invoice is?

    So, I am lost. Please help.
    Thank you.




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