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Do you know what the matter was?

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

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Do you know what the matter was?

Postby carolgrey » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:57 am

Hi,

Do you know what the matter was?
Do you know what was the matter?

Why is the first wrong?

Thank you.
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Re: Do you know what the matter was?

Postby Alan » Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:36 am

The standard order of elements in a nominal clause subordinated to an interrogative is COMPLEMENT (here "what") - SUBJECT ("the matter") -VERB ("was").

Informally, however, the second type of word order is not uncommon.
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