The pattern what x be y? is frequent in English and can be seen in sentences like these:

What color is your car?

What time is it now?

What day does school begin?

What size is this shirt?

Are the following alternatives as good English?

What is the color of your car (or, what is your car's color)?

What is the time now?

What is the day that school begins on?

What is the size of this shirt?

  • 2
    They're all fine, speaking grammatically. In terms of natural conversation, I might phrase things differently (Do you have the time? When does school start?), but that would just be a personal opinion. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Sep 13 '18 at 18:13

All of them are grammatically fine. In the US at least, your second set is perhaps somewhat less common, particularly in speech. And the example of "What is the day that school begins on" is somewhat awkward: more natural would be "What is the day when school begins" or, among purists, "what is the day on which school begins."

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