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  1. Member
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    #1

    where our cat was/where was our cat

    Hi all

    I have a question, the first sentence contains a noun phrase "where our cat was", then I am wondering what kind of phrase in the second sentence. Is it even corrected in grammar ?

    Last week, our cat gave birth to a litter of kittens, but we didn't know where our cat was.

    Last week, our cat gave birth to a litter of kittens, but we didn't know where was our cat.

    (Source: http://www.grammar-quizzes.com/nounclausequiz.html)Thanks

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Noun clause

    ... where was our cat' in the second sentence is not correct.

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    #3

    Re: where our cat was/where was our cat

    Please note that I have changed your thread title.

    Extract from the Posting Guidelines:

    'Thread titles should include all or part of the word/phrase being discussed.'

  4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #4

    Re: where our cat was/where was our cat

    You're not asking a direct question, but discussing a question, so don't use standard question word order. You don't want your listener to tell you where your cat was, rather to sympathise with your situation. You're not asking your listener anything.

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    #5

    Re: where our cat was/where was our cat

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    You don't want your listener to tell you where your cat was, rather to sympathise with your situation. You're not asking your listener anything.
    The same goes even if you actually ask a question and want your listener to tell you where the cat is. For example:
    Do you know where my cat is?

    Quote Originally Posted by danghuynh88 View Post
    I have a question, the first sentence contains a noun phrase "where our cat was", then I am wondering what kind of phrase in the second sentence. Is it even corrected in grammar ?

    Last week, our cat gave birth to a litter of kittens, but we didn't know where our cat was.

    Last week, our cat gave birth to a litter of kittens, but we didn't know where was our cat.
    word order with what, who and which

    Questions beginning who/what/which + be can ask for a subject or a
    complement. Compare:
    Who is the best player here? (This asks for a subject: a possible answer is
    John is the best player here.)
    What is the time? (This asks for a complement: a possible answer is The
    time is 4.30
    , NOT 4.30 is the time.)
    When we report the first kind of question (where who/what/which + be asks
    for a subject), two word orders are possible.
    - DIRECT: Who's the best player here?
    INDIRECT: She asked me who was the best player.
    She asked me who the best player was.
    - DIRECT: What's the matter?
    INDIRECT: I asked what was the matter.
    I asked what the matter was.
    - DIRECT: Which is my seat?
    INDIRECT: She wondered which was her seat.
    She wondered which her seat was.
    This does not happen when who/what/which asks for a complement.
    DIRECT: What's the time?
    INDIRECT: She asked what the time was. (NOT USUALLY She asked what
    was the time.
    )
    Michael Swan, Practical English Usage Third edition, Page 253
    Last edited by Mori; 05-Dec-2016 at 18:24.

  6. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #6

    Re: where our cat was/where was our cat

    Quote Originally Posted by Mori View Post
    The same goes even if you actually asked a question and wanted your listener to tell you where the cat was.
    That's sort of true, but in your case you're asking one real question with another embedded in it. The real question takes priority.

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