Don't you know where you are? (word order)

nagyviktor110

Senior Member
Hungarian
hey all!

I have concernes about the word order after the introduction of the question.

examples:


1)Where am I? - I don't know where I am.
2)Where are you? - Don't you know where you are?
3)Where is he going? - I don't know where he is going. / Don't you know where he is going?
4)Where were you? - Don't you know where you were?
5)Where did you put the book? - Don't you know where you put the book?


My question is if these sentences are correct.

thanks in advance
 
Last edited:
  • auno trovago

    Senior Member
    They are correct. That said, a different order can change the meaning slightly. That is, for example, "Don't you know...?" and "You don't know...?" are a little different; the first is an explicit question with a bit of incredulity or even accusation. The second is a statement framed as a question with a more neutral cast. And then you could say: "Do you know ...?" which is an explicit question that is completely neutral.
     

    nagyviktor110

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Thank you!

    So if I want to be neutral I should use the second and the third ones?
    Because in my language only the intonation determines if it's neutral or a bit offending.
     

    auno trovago

    Senior Member
    Not really. "Don't you know...?" implies that you should know, and if you don't there must be something wrong with you. "Don't you know where you are?" could be accusatory or it could be concerned surprise. "Do you know where you are? is a neutral question but it can be a bit clinical. You come upon a disoriented person in the street with his eyes rolling around: "Do you know your name? Do you know where you are? Do you know what year it is?" It's really hard to come up with a context where asking someone if he knows where he is is not a bit pathological. On the other hand, for a more impersonal question we can see more clearly:

    Do you know the atomic symbol for plutonium? - that's completely neutral. I don't know it, if you do, you can tell me.

    Don't you know the atomic symbol for plutonium? - that's accusatory. Everyone knows it. How can you not?

    [BTW: Pu]:)
     

    nagyviktor110

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Not really. "Don't you know...?" implies that you should know, and if you don't there must be something wrong with you. "Don't you know where you are?" could be accusatory or it could be concerned surprise. "Do you know where you are? is a neutral question but it can be a bit clinical. You come upon a disoriented person in the street with his eyes rolling around: "Do you know your name? Do you know where you are? Do you know what year it is?" It's really hard to come up with a context where asking someone if he knows where he is is not a bit pathological. On the other hand, for a more impersonal question we can see more clearly:

    Do you know the atomic symbol for plutonium? - that's completely neutral. I don't know it, if you do, you can tell me.

    Don't you know the atomic symbol for plutonium? - that's accusatory. Everyone knows it. How can you not?

    [BTW: Pu]:)
    Everything is clear now. Thank you! :)
     
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