Growing up in a country where English is not the native language, I always hear people phrase declarative statements in an interrogative form. I'm not sure if it's grammatically correct to do so.

Example in Question Form:

What will he do, I wonder?

Declarative(What I hear from others):

I wonder what will he do.

Based on what I have known all my life, I would phrase it as such:

I wonder what he will do.

... While I am sure that the way I constructed it is correct, I'm not sure if one could phrase it the way they do.

  • "I wonder, what will he do?" is fine, at least as dialogue. As a written statement you are right and it would be better to say "I wonder what he will do." – Andrew Oct 20 '16 at 3:56
  • The matrix clause may be declarative, but the subordinate clause is interrogative. "What he will do" is an interrogative complement clause: the meaning here is "I wonder about the answer to the question 'What will he do?"' – BillJ Oct 20 '16 at 7:28

Consider the following two statements.

First, a declarative statement:

Of course it is grammatically correct to do so.

Second, an interrogative statement:

Of course it is grammatically correct to do so?

Any declarative statement may be turned into a question by a rising modulation of the voice (signified in text by means of a question mark). There are other ways to form interrogatories, but they do not rule out this one.

Related discussion on ELU.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.