3

From my understanding, in affirmative sentences, the thing we want to mainly talk about can be fronted. as in 'strange people they are'.

I wonder if such structure is possible with questions. If so, which (kinds) of the following are, either grammatically or idiomatically, acceptable?

  1. Good or bad is this plan?
  2. Good or bad this plan is?
  3. Good or bad do you think this plan is?
  4. A good or bad plan this is?
  5. A good or bad plan is this?
  6. A good or bad plan do you think this is?
  • 1
    Actually we don't say "Strange people they are." We could say "What strange people they are!" But it doesn't work without the what. All of your other examples are also incorrect; they're examples of what's sometimes called "Yoda-speak" (after the Star Wars character Yoda, who spoke in this unusual pattern.) I can't think of a way offhand to modify your other examples to make this acceptable; probably because they're questions. You could make a statement like "What a good plan this is!" But in general, just stick with the usual word order. – WendiKidd Nov 10 '13 at 16:49
  • 2
    Actually actually, plenty of people say things like “strange people, they are” (or even “Strange people, them”). John Lawler calls this “right dislocation” (#6). It serves a purpose, though may be particular to BrE. – Tyler James Young Nov 11 '13 at 19:30
  • 1
    Put commas after bad in 1-3 and after plan in 4-6. – snailcar Nov 12 '13 at 19:18
1

In practice, I would say none of those are acceptable. There are some instances when that type of structure is used, but I would not use that in everyday speech.

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