Did you talk about what it was?

Tae-Bbong-Ea

Senior Member
Korean
I am curious about when two questions are combined, the <C-1> and <C-2> are correct or not. and Also I want to know the reason.

Firstly,
Did you talk about ~ + What(Complement) was it(Subject)
<C-1>. Did you talk about what it was ?

For your reference)
Most users said <C-1>. Sentence is correct. :tick:


Secondly,
Did you talk about ~ + What(Subject) was it(Complement)
<C-2>. Did you talk about what was it ?

For your reference)
Most users said <C-2> is wrong:cross:.. Why?....
 
Last edited:
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    The grammar of the indirect question is the same whether it's preceded by a statement or a question.

    Direct speech:
    What was it?

    Indirect speech:
    He asked what it was.
    Did he ask what it was?
     

    Tae-Bbong-Ea

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Dear Loob

    So you mean, even though what is used as (Subject) in a Direct speech, when that Direct speech becomes an Indirect speech, a form of the Indirect speech is still the same as a form of an Indirect speech of the case that What is used as (Complement) in a Direct speech and then it becomes Indirect speech. AM I right?


    For example)
    I intend to use What as (Subject) in a Direct speech, and then I transform this Direct speech to an Indirect speech. Then I put it into another Direct questions as Object.

    for example) What (Subject) was it ? --> Did you talk about what it was?


    I intend to use What as (Complement of 'is' be-verb) in a Direct speech, and then I transform this Direct speech to an Indirect speech. Then I put it into another Direct questions as Object.

    for example) What (Complement of 'is' be-verb) was it ? --> Did you talk about what it was?
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I don't understand the distinction you seem to be making in the direct speech examples.
    If you ask "What was it?" how do you (or your listener) decide which of "what" and "is" is the subject and which is the complement?

    Perhaps you could construct a better example using something more illuminating than "it".

    Normally we would not care which is the subject.
    "What was it? Was it a bird? Was it a plane? -- No, it was Superman!"
    He asked what it was.
    Did he ask what it was?
     
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