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    #1

    Subject - verb inversion

    In another forum I was reading a thread related to the inversion of subject - verb in subordinate clause. A question was asked there -

    1. What is the difference between these two sentences -

    a) I know who is my friend.
    b) I know who my friend is.

    I know that there is no difference in meaning, and also I was sure that only sentence #b is correct and sentence #a is wrong. But in that thread it says both of them is correct, and it sites an widely used example -

    c) I know who my friend is and who is not.

    Now I am curious to know when to use the inversion? Please help.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Subject - verb inversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_From_India View Post
    In another forum I was reading a thread related to the inversion of subject - verb in subordinate clause. A question was asked there -

    1. What is the difference between these two sentences -

    a) I know who is my friend. This means "of all the people out there, I know which ones I can count on to be my friend."

    b) I know who my friend is. You are thinking of a specific friend and saying you can identify him or that you truly know him.
    e.g., A: Hey look, there's your friend Tom.
    B: Yes, thanks. I know that. I know who my friend is.

    or
    A: Tom was lying to us and he's been lying to you.
    B: You're wrong. I know my friend is, and he's not what you're saying he is at all!


    I know that there is no difference in meaning, and also I was sure that only sentence #b is correct and sentence #a is wrong. But in that thread it says both of them is correct, and it cite a widely used example -

    c) I know who my friend is and who is not. I think you mean this to be "I know who is my friend and who is not." (I know which of you I can count on.) The way you have this written is backwards.

    Now I am curious to know when to use the inversion? Please help.
    It's an interesting issue. It doesn't work with something like "I know where is my book" when "I know where my book is" is correct.

    However, the different is that in the "who my friend is" you are thinking of a specific person, a specific friend, so "my friend" is the subject..

    In "who is my friend" the "who" is the subject, and it stands for "any of those people who could be counted among your friends." The "my friend" is the predicate noun.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: Subject - verb inversion

    Dear member, Man_From_India:


    I AM NOT A TEACHER:

    This is what I think in regards to your question, by the way, Barb_D gave a good answer which I took it as a sample to mine.

    1) I know who is my friend.

    a) I know what person is my friend or not.

    2) I know who my friend is.

    b) I know what kind of person my friend is.

    In (1):

    The relative pronoun who tells what person you know is your friend; The relative (who) is the subject of this subordinate or dependent clause.

    In (2):

    The relative who tells what kind of person you know your friend is; the relatives (who) is acting as an adjective in this clause.

    OBSERVANCE:

    The main or independent clause I know is the subject of the whole sentence; the subordinate or dependent clause is the predicate, but I'm not sure whether it is the object of the sentence or not.


    I would appreciate if one of the teachers or members could help me in knowing more.
    Last edited by The apprentice; 13-Apr-2014 at 20:09.

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