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I heard this sentence in a movie:

"Who is that "you" in reference to exactly?"

and since I don't usually limit myself by a fixed number of sentence structures, I used it in this way:

"Who that "you" has reference to exactly?"

I Wonder if my own sentence is correct/well-understood as well? (I feel the second one is only a bit more formal sounding, but not wrong.)

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    In a standard question the subject must invert with an auxiliary verb. – StoneyB Aug 12 '17 at 10:26
  • @StoneyB Can you give an example? – M-J Aug 12 '17 at 10:29
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    Who does that "you" have reference to exactly? – StoneyB Aug 12 '17 at 10:40
  • So you mean it would be more grammatical if I said "Who has that "you" reference to exactly?" – M-J Aug 12 '17 at 10:45
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    HAVE is wonky. Until about a century or so ago it was treated (like BE) as an auxiliary in all contexts and could invert without do support even when employed as a lexical verb, as here. That use lingers in formal registers; but it has mostly disappeared from US spoken Englishes, and seems to have declined in British spoken Englishes too. I recommend that you follow contemporary usage and employ do support with lexical HAVE. – StoneyB Aug 12 '17 at 10:52

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