I am bit confused about the question below as to which option suits the best..

Q) Who asked you to draft this letter?

Now in the passive voice, I have two options, which are:

a) By whom were you asked to draft this letter?

b) By whom you were asked to draft this letter?

Now I am wondering which answer is correct and why?

  • 3
    Nobody says stuff like that, not either of them. One in ungrammatical, but neither is ever said. Ever. Who asked you to draft this letter? is all that would ever be said. You won't hear Who were you asked to draft this letter by? And no pied-piping, please.
    – tchrist
    Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 2:31
  • so there can't be passive for this sentence. Is this what you are trying to say? I got this question in a test and both of them seemed suitable to me.
    – AKJ
    Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 2:39
  • 1
    If you're being given "tests" with passive stuff like that, quit the class. It's teaching you unnatural things that nobody says. Try reading this instead. Your sentence has two verbs: which one is supposed to be made "passive"? Both of them? And why would you ever need to? Just because you were asked to passivizate it by some teacher doesn't mean it's a sensible question. The only reasonable version I've given you already, and nobody is going to say it.
    – tchrist
    Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 2:41

2 Answers 2


(a) is correct. (b) is incorrect because in a question you need to switch the order of the subject and the verb.


a) is correct.

The reason why they are teaching and asking questions like that, is more to point out und train how a sentence or question needs to be built in a passive form, and less to teach common native questions. The understanding of the "Why", not the "What".

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