Do you know <who you are /who are you> speaking to?

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Hi everyone,

Which one of these pairs of questions is correct ?

1-(A) Do you know who you are speaking to?(formal)
(B) Do you know to whom you are speaking? (Informal)

2-(A) Do you know who are you speaking to ?
(B) Do you know to whom are you speaking ?

I am fairly sure that the first one is correct, however, I would be quite sure. If my guess is correct, could you possibly let me know why?
 
  • Because it is a reported/indirect question, which doesn't need the inversion of subject and auxiliary verb.
    Because it is a reported/indirect question, which doesn't need the inversion of subject and auxiliary verb.
    Thank you so much indeed, but why in this examples we invert the subject and auxiliary verb:

    1- Do you know who is the Member of Parliament for this area?
    2-Do you know who is the head of municipality in this town ?
    3- Do you know who is that man ?


    Would you mind lightening me if those three questions are also indirect?
     

    涼宮

    Senior Member
    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    They are indirect, because the main verb is to know. So you have to say: Do you know who the Member of Parliament for this area is?The same for the other sentences.

    You always find that pattern in basic expressions like:Could you tell me where the bathroom is? you see? ''is'' is at the end, indirect question.

    Or when you say, I don't know who he is.

    You cannot put the second verb at the beginning because that would make a double question, and you cannot do that. It's just 1rst verb for asking + 2nd verb for statements.
     
    Last edited:

    inib

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thank you so much indeed, but why in this examples we invert the subject and auxiliary verb:

    1- Do you know who is the Member of Parliament for this area?
    2-Do you know who is the head of municipality in this town ?
    3- Do you know who is that man ?


    Would you mind lightening me if those three questions are also indirect?
    Personally I wouldn't express any of those sentences in blue the way you have written them. I would put "is" after the subject. But not everyone speaks in the same way, and if the subject is very long, some might prefer not to put "is" so far away from its first word.
     
    I would accept (1) and (2) as correct, but with a noun phrase as short as "that man" it is very unusual to locate "is" before the subject.
    I quite agree with all the opinions. On the other hand, no one has parsed whether the subordinate conjunction"who" or phrases " the Member of Parliament","the head of municipality" and "that man" as the subject of the clause will determine where the verb should be placed.

     
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