what is correct:

What kind of car would you like to buy? OR What kind of car you would like to buy?

I know that there can't be 2 questions in 1 sentence. For example: Can you tell me where it is (not is it), but I always though "What kind of" is also a question). Please advise. Thanks.

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    What kind of car would you like to buy? is a question. But what kind of car you would like to buy is just a noun phrase. Compare Do you know the answer? (where the answer is obviously a noun phrase), and Do you know what kind of car you would like to buy? Jan 14, 2018 at 13:25

2 Answers 2


If you want to make a "what" question you need to invert the verb and subject. Let's remove all the unnecessary detail in the sentence to simplify it, in order to help clear it up.

What would you like? <--- This is a question.

What you would like? <--- This is not a properly formed question. It's incorrect as a question.

You could use "what you would like" as another clause in a bigger question.

For example:

Can you tell me what you would like?

In the above example "what you would like" is acting as a noun phrase. The main question however is "Can you tell me [something]?"


"WHAT" can be classified as an interrogative pronoun, interrogative adjective or relative pronoun. In the examples provided, the first one is an interrogative sentence with inversion of verb before the subject "you" being preceded by WH-word and/ or its related word. WHAT is here interrogative adjective.

With due respect to the learned critic, better call the second one in the examples a dependent noun clause which can't stand on its own and requires another principal clause to be meaningful. You are right that there can't be two questions in a sentence but at the same time you have to make concessions for questioning subordinators like "what , how, which" with or without related words. The moot point is whether it is a questioning sentence or a questioning clause of a larger sentence where your question may or may not have verb inversion according to the demand of that particular sentence.

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