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      • Native Language:
      • Polish
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    #1

    Smile questions questions questions

    hi everybody,

    here is something I've been wondering about for quite a bit.
    if you ask somebody what they think about certain things, you can say for example: "what do you think something/someone is .........bla bla...?

    now, do I need to swap the noun and verb in the second part of that statement?
    for instance:
    what do you think are our chances to win the game? or
    what do you think our chances to win the game are?

    to my ear, they both are sort of all right, and there are thousands of examples(both cases) online, so it doesn't help much.
    I am curious what the rule is here and if I am right.

    on the other hand, I'm pretty sure that "do you know what that is?" is correct unlike "do you know what is that?".

    it would be nice if someone could clarify that.
    thanks in advance.

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    #2

    Re: questions questions questions

    When the subject of the sentence is a lengthy noun phrase, we like to put the verb before the subject:

    1. What do you think are our chances to win the game
    2. What do you think our chances to win the game are.

    In formal register, I would go for #1.

    -----------------------
    What do you think this is.
    What do you think is this?

    When the subject of the sentence is short, the verb comes last.

    Time to cop some z's. Good night.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: questions questions questions

    Please use a capital letter at the beginning of every sentence and every proper noun. This will make your posts a) correct English and b) much easier to read.

    Thank you.

    • Member Info
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    #4

    Re: questions questions questions

    Thanks for quick response and advice.
    Another think it came to my mind is the phrase “show them who’s boss”
    Why is it not “show them who boss is”?
    The subject (boss) is very short so the verb should come last, although I know that it’s an idiom and no rules apply to them sometimes.
    Anyway, what’s your take on that?

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: questions questions questions

    'Show them who's boss' means 'make it clear that you are in charge'.

    'Show them who the boss is' could mean 'Point out the boss to them'.

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