0

Fill in the blanks

I don't know ........

  1. who is that man over there.
  2. who that man over there is
  3. who that man is over there.
  4. that man over there who is

The first sentence that I thought about is "the man who is over there". which is not in the answers and I think it is right but anyway, we don't have this and we must choose from these four. I think the second ones seems familiar but I am not sure whether 2 or 3 is right.

  • 2
    #1 is typical of non-native speakers, but wouldn't often be used by the natives (it's essentially a question in its own right, without preceding I don't know...). #2 and #3 are both fine (though in practice #2 is probably much more likely in most contexts). And #4 is just seriously ungrammatical gibberish. – FumbleFingers Apr 14 '18 at 16:57
  • Noun clauses need context, like a full sentence. All those could be used in a conceivable universe when speaking but I am not going to write out a real sentence for you for each one. – Lambie Apr 14 '18 at 17:07
  • Only 2. and 3. are OK, where "who that man over there is" / "who that man is over there" are subordinate interrogative clauses (embedded questions). Such clauses do not have subject-auxiliary inversion, so 1. is ungrammatical. The meaning is "I don't know the answer to the question 'Who is that man over there?'". And 3. is just gibberish, as FF says. – BillJ Apr 14 '18 at 17:16
  • "Who is that man over there?"//" I told him who that man over there is but he didn't believe me."//"Who that man is over there is a matter of debate".//"That man over there who is eating a hot dog is not a nice man".// They all work. – Lambie Apr 14 '18 at 17:17
  • The first one is the question form. And I did end up writing out examples. As you can see, this is not a simple question, in fact. – Lambie Apr 14 '18 at 17:32
1

I don't know ........

  1. who is that man over there.

  2. who that man over there is.

  3. who that man is over there.

  4. that man over there who is.

1 - 3 are subordinate interrogative clauses (embedded questions). Such clauses do not (normally) have subject-auxiliary inversion, so 1. is ungrammatical.

2 and 3 are fine, where the meaning can be glossed as "I don't know the answer to the question 'Who is that man over there?'"

4 is not an interrogative clause -- it's a noun phrase, but it is ungrammatical since "is" has no obvious complement.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.