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GUEST2008

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Hi

1. I don't understand what was "getting worse".

2. I don't understand what "getting worse" was.

--- I suppose the first one is correct, but because it's not a question, but rather a statement, I would say that the 2nd is correct,i.e. what X was instead of what was X.

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Abstract Idea

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----- I am not an ESL teacher anymore -----

Hi

1. I don't understand what was "getting worse".

2. I don't understand what "getting worse" was.

--- I suppose the first one is correct, but because it's not a question, but rather a statement, I would say that the 2nd is correct,i.e. what X was instead of what was X.

Thanks

The first one, without the inverted commas, means you don't understand exactly what was getting worse.
The second one, with the inverted commas, means you don't understand the meaning of the expression "getting worse".

In spoken English one cannot "hear" the inverted commas.
 

Abstract Idea

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----- I am not an ESL teacher anymore -----

Hi

1. I don't understand what was "getting worse".

2. I don't understand what "getting worse" was.

--- I suppose the first one is correct, but because it's not a question, but rather a statement, I would say that the 2nd is correct,i.e. what X was instead of what was X.

Thanks

By the way I guess there should be a tense matching here:

I didn't understand ...

Or, if you prefer, turn "was" to "is".
 

2006

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-----
By the way I guess there should be a tense matching here:

I didn't understand ...

Or, if you prefer, turn "was" to "is".
Forget about matching tenses! Changing a tense can/will change the meaning. (Why do you think you should match tenses?)

I don't understand what was getting worse.
I didn't understand what was getting worse. (maybe now I understand)
 

Abstract Idea

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----- I am not an English teacher -----

Forget about matching tenses! Changing a tense can/will change the meaning. (Why do you think you should match tenses?)

I don't understand what was getting worse.
I didn't understand what was getting worse. (maybe now I understand)

Yes, sure, changing a tense may change the meaning. But it sure depends on the context. If you say, for instance,

- ... and it sure was getting worse and worse.
- I don't understand what was getting worse.
- My understanding of verb tense usage in English.

I guess it is OK.
 
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