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    #1

    Who is Ben's son?

    Who is Ben's son?

    What is the subject of the above sentence: who or Ben's son?
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #2

    Re: Who is Ben's son?

    Who

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    #3

    Re: Who is Ben's son?

    This sentence is in the Imperative Mood (or Mode), and as such the speaker is the implicit subject.

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    #4

    Re: Who is Ben's son?

    I see no imperative form there. It's a simple interrogative, third person singular. Imperative forms are second person.

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    #5

    Re: Who is Ben's son?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I see no imperative form there. It's a simple interrogative, third person singular. Imperative forms are second person.
    Specifics of grammar seem to be more your thing than mine. I'm not satisfied yet, but neither am I confident enough to press the matter unless/until I can find clearer information.

    If I find anything substantive, I'll get back to you.

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    #6

    Re: Who is Ben's son?

    Here's Cambridge's take on imperatives.

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    #7

    Re: Who is Ben's son?

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    Who is Ben's son?

    What is the subject of the above sentence: who or Ben's son?
    While 'who' is in the normal subject position, the question is about the identity of Ben's son, (Ben's son is who?). and Ben's son is the subject of the verb. This can more clearly seen in Who are Ben's sons? in which the plural form are makes it easier to identify the subject.

    This question should not worry learners; it is not important to them. It is of real interest only to people studying the grammar of English as a subject in its own right.

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    #8

    Re: Who is Ben's son?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Here's Cambridge's take on imperatives.

    Bookmarked. Thank you. Best treatment of the subject I've seen so far.

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    #9

    Re: Who is Ben's son?

    Who is Ben's son?
    (A) John is Ben's son.
    (B) Ben's son is John.

    If who is the subject, A is the correct reply. If Ben's son is the subject, B is the correct reply.
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #10

    Re: Who is Ben's son?

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    Who is Ben's son?
    (A) John is Ben's son.
    (B) Ben's son is John.

    If who is the subject, A is the correct reply. If Ben's son is the subject, B is the correct reply.
    The subject is "Ben's son", and "who" is predicative complement. Either answer (A) or (B) is correct.

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