What is the difference between the two following sentences?

1) Where did you save that file?


2) Where you saved that file ?

  • 4
    I think the first one is correct and grammatical but the second one is not.
    – Raj 33
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 16:03
  • 3
    Indeed, the distinction between the two sentences is that the second one is produced only by non-native speakers. The exception would be in an exchange such as the following: Person A: "What was it that you wanted to know?"; Person B: "Where you saved that file." But here, "where you saved that file" might be better regarded as a sentence fragment.
    – rjpond
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 16:43
  • @rjpond I have heard native speakers produce sentences like the second one, but very rarely. Also their speech would not sound educated to most people. But I have heard it. Everytime I have heard it it was spoken by a people from an urban ghetto.
    – Readin
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 20:14

2 Answers 2


Let's imagine that your friend saved a file somewhere, and you wanted to know where it had been saved. You would ask:

"Where did you save that file?"

Afterwards you might say to your friend:

"I wondered where you saved that file."

If you are asking the question, you cannot say:

"Where you saved that file?"

It's incorrect.

But you can use those words as part of a sentence, as illustrated.

http://www.grammar.cl/english/do-does-did-done.htm https://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/grammar/frage5.htm


In short the difference is the function of the word "where". In the first sentence is used as adverb, and in the second is used as conjunction.


The correct formal structure of questions (interrogative sentence) of the past simple tense is:

auxiliary verb ➕ pronoun ➕ infinitive verb

and with Wh questions is:

Wh question (adverb) ➕ auxiliary verb ➕ pronoun ➕ infinitive verb

Therefore, the the correct formal interrogative sentence is:

Where did you save that file?

On the other hand, you can use in a statement (declarative sentence) that says:

I am not sure where you saved that file.

In this case, the word "where" is not used as wh question (=adverb) but as conjunction.

So in the end of the day, both are correct depending on the context.

Obviously, it is not possible to ask:

Where you saved that file? ❎

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