As the title says, do I write "I wonder why I exist" or "I wonder why do I exist"? In this case, I am not expecting an answer, if that makes any difference.

If I were to ask someone, I would write (say) "why do I exist?", but what about in this case?

Thank you!

  • You're pondering your very existence and the question foremost in your mind is whether the sentence should include "do"?
    – fixer1234
    May 3, 2017 at 16:55
  • You are thus you exist! May 24, 2017 at 6:45

2 Answers 2


The "do" is called a do-support, it is needed when you convert a declarative (statement) clause that doesn't have any auxiliary into an interrogative (question) clause, as in

Declarative : I exist (no auxiliary) Intterogative : Why do I exist? (do is added)

But it is not needed when the question in embedded in another clause.

I wonder why I exist?

  • 3
    But it could be: I wonder, “Why do I exist?”
    – Jim
    May 3, 2017 at 5:12
  • @Jim Yes, but I think that's a horse of a different color. :) May 3, 2017 at 7:08
  • "I wonder why I do exist" has a nice iambic rhythm. You could start a poem with it and nobody would think it odd. Or you could playfully pretend to start a poem with it.
    – Philip Roe
    May 4, 2017 at 1:12

I wonder why do I exist needs at least a comma, if not a colon.

I wonder, why do I exist

I wonder: why do I exist

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