Do you know which is the correct alternative?

converter

Member
Català - Torredembarra
Hello everybody,


I just came across this sentences: "DO YOU KNOW WHICH IS THE CORRECT ALTERNATIVE?" and it sounds strange to me because of the word order but I'm not a English native speaker, so what do I know?

I think it should be "DO YOU KNOW WHICH THE CORRECT ALTERNATIVE IS?"

Maybe either one is OK, I don't know.


Thanks in advance!
 
  • chamyto

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Hello everybody,


    I just came across this sentences: "DO YOU KNOW WHICH IS THE CORRECT ALTERNATIVE?" and it sounds strange to me because of the word order but I'm not a English native speaker, so what do I know?

    I think it should be "DO YOU KNOW WHICH THE CORRECT ALTERNATIVE IS?"

    Maybe either one is OK, I don't know.




    Thanks in advance!
    I do agree with you. The second option should be the correct one, but you will see the first one often. Wait for more opinions.
     
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    Forero

    Senior Member
    Las dos son correctas, pero cuál es más adecuada depende del contexto. En una interrogativa indirecta, toda la frase tiene la orden de una oración declarativa, menos el interrogativo, que va primero. Pero ¿dónde está la is en la frase declarativa? Hay dos posibilidades:

    _ is the correct alternative. -> Do you know which is the correct alternative?
    The correct alternative is _. -> Do you know which the correct alternative is?

    ¿Qué ya se sabe, y de cuál tipo tiene que ser la respuesta?
     
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    AquisM

    Senior Member
    English/Cantonese
    The second one sounds horrible to me. I would never say that. I would say the first one or Do you know which alternative is the correct one?
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    It really depends on what you want to ask:

    Do you know which it is?
    Do you know which is it?

    If you mean "Do you know which alternative is the correct one?", that would be "Do you know which is the correct alternative?" not "Do you know which the correct alternative is?".
     

    kayokid

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Hello.
    1. Do you know which is the correct alternative?
    2. Do you know which the correct alternative is?
    In my opinion both are okay but I really think they both could be improved. For example, number 1 would read/sound much better this way:

    Do you know which one is the correct alternative?
    and
    number 2 would sound much better to me, personally, as:
    Do you know what the correct alternative is?
     

    inib

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello everybody,


    I just came across this sentences: "DO YOU KNOW WHICH IS THE CORRECT ALTERNATIVE?" and it sounds strange to me because of the word order but I'm not a English native speaker, so what do I know?

    I think it should be "DO YOU KNOW WHICH THE CORRECT ALTERNATIVE IS?"

    Maybe either one is OK, I don't know.


    Thanks in advance!
    You've got me there. All the rules (that I know,and would usually abide by even if I didn't know them) say that it should be your second sentence, but I must admit that your first example doesn't sound bad to me at all.
    I'd always go for "Do you know what the time is?" or "Do you know what time it is?", so I can't understand what I'm missing!
     

    inib

    Senior Member
    British English
    It really depends on what you want to ask:

    Do you know which it is?
    Do you know which is it?

    If you mean "Do you know which alternative is the correct one?", that would be "Do you know which is the correct alternative?" not "Do you know which the correct alternative is?".
    Could you expand on that a bit? I've got a hunch that you've got the key to the matter, but for whatever reason, at this time of night I'm feeling a bit foggy and can't quite follow it through!
     

    gringuitoloco

    Senior Member
    American (awesome) English
    You've got me there. All the rules (that I know,and would usually abide by even if I didn't know them) say that it should be your second sentence, but I must admit that your first example doesn't sound bad to me at all.
    I'd always go for "Do you know what the time is?" or "Do you know what time it is?", so I can't understand what I'm missing!
    That's because you're using "what." In this sentence, you are using "which."
    You would never say "Which one of these the green one is?" But rather, "Which one of these is the green one?"
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Here is an example that I hope will clarify things a bit:

    The woman is a carpenter.
    This statement contains the answer to all four indirect questions below (not the yes/no answer to the direct question "Do you know?"). Notice that "the woman" is the subject, i.e. the person the sentence says something about, and "a carpenter" is the complement (or predicate noun), i.e. what the sentence says she is. The complement is a noun phrase, but it is used here to characterize the woman. (In Spanish this complement would not have an article.)

    In an indirect question, even if imbedded in a direct question, the subject always goes before the verb.

    So if we want to ask "what" or "which" about the complement, we keep the subject, "the woman" in front of the verb, "is":

    Do you know what the woman is?
    Carpenter or bricklayer, do you know which the woman is?

    Here even English allows the noun without an article. I have listed some choices first, but the questions are in proper form with or without them.

    And if we want to ask "what" ("who" in this case) or "which" about the subject, the "what"/"who" or "which" becomes the subject, and it still goes in front of the verb (with the complement afterwards):

    Do you know who is a carpenter?
    The woman or the man, do you know which is a carpenter?

    Here too I have listed some choices first, but the questions are in proper form with or without these little hints.

    The real question then becomes: Is "the correct alternative" meant to be the subject, or the complement? If the question is to mean "Do you know which alternative is the correct one?", then the statement giving the answer is of the form "This alternative is the correct one" (not "the correct one is this alternative"), and the equivalent with "the correct alternative" is "This is the correct alternative" (not "the correct alternative is this"). So in this case, the correct form of the question (with "the correct alternative" as the complement) is "Do you know which is the correct alternative?".

    Still, "Do you know which the correct alternative is?" is not wrong: it is just asking a different question.
     
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