I don't know what / what I don't know


Senior Member
Indian English
Have a look into these two sentences. I wrote them -
1. I am waiting for what I don't know.
2. I am waiting for I don't know what.

My question is -
Is there any difference in meaning between #1 and #2? Please explain grammatically.

Thanking you in advance
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    The sentences mean the same thing to me, MFI. "What" is a pronoun in both sentences, but the first sentence emphasizes that word more than the second sentence does. The second version uses what I consider normal word order for that sentence.


    Senior Member
    I am writing for what I don't know - quite frankly this one makes no sense to me. :( The preposition (for) is quite confusing.


    Senior Member
    I'm with boozer. #1 makes no sense. How do you wait for something if you don't know anything about it? #2 makes sense. It fits a proper sentence structure. Ask yourself, "What am I asking for?" And, of course, the sentense answers itself: "I don't know what."

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member

    I think both are correct provided #1 undergoes a little change:

    1. I am waiting for something I don't know.
    2. I am waiting for I don't know what.


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