# Thread: What the matter is vs what is the matter

1. ## What the matter is vs what is the matter

"There's quite a crowd here. Let's go and see what is the matter."

Isn't it supposed to be "what the matter is"? I remember seeing people writing stuff like "I don't know what it is but we should leave it alone"

2. ## Re: What the matter is vs what is the matter

I'd say '. . . . Let's go and see what's going on'.

If my little grandson started crying I'd say 'What's the matter?'

Rover

3. ## Re: What the matter is vs what is the matter

Yes, you are quite correct: it is!

4. ## Re: What the matter is vs what is the matter

Originally Posted by philo2009
Yes, you are quite correct: it is!
Wait, no the second sentence is there just so you guys have a better idea of what am I asking about. I want your opinion on the whole "what is the matter" thing

Originally Posted by Rover_KE
I'd say '. . . . Let's go and see what's going on'.

If my little grandson started crying I'd say 'What's the matter?'

Rover
ok, so it would be more natural to use 'what's going on". But would you mind explaining that "what is the matter" as a statement (not a question in this case!) to me?

5. ## Re: What the matter is vs what is the matter

Originally Posted by vkhu
"There's quite a crowd here. Let's go and see what is the matter."

Isn't it supposed to be "what the matter is"?
You are correct in saying that 'Let's go and see what the matter is' is correct. However, with BE, especially in contracted forms, inversion is common. I would not say that 'Let's go and see what's the matter' is incorrect.

6. ## Re: What the matter is vs what is the matter

Originally Posted by 5jj
You are correct in saying that 'Let's go and see what the matter is' is correct. However, with BE, especially in contracted forms, inversion is common. I would not say that 'Let's go and see what's the matter' is incorrect.
So in a formal writing essay, or in a grammar test, which one would be the best to go with? Especially if it is a multiple choice question with both "the matter is" and "is the matter" available?

7. ## Re: What the matter is vs what is the matter

Formally correct (as already stated): ...what the matter is.

The order is: COMPLEMENT - SUBJECT - VERB.

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