What is the correct and more-native position of the word 'are' in the following sentences?

*someone asked me what are my plans for halloween

*someone asked me what my plans for halloween are

  • 1
    Please do some research on reported speech before asking this question. – Lambie Nov 2 '18 at 18:43
  • Neither of these sentences would normally be considered correct in reported speech. If somebody asked, then the past tense would normally be used in this case: Somebody asked me what my plans for Halloween were. – Jason Bassford Nov 2 '18 at 18:59
  • Backshifted "were" is certainly possible, but present tense "are" is fine too. – BillJ Nov 2 '18 at 19:28
  • @Jason Bassford If someone asked you in the past on Oct 29 about your plans in the future, Oct 31, then you can use "are". – HiddenBabel Nov 2 '18 at 22:00
  • @HiddenBabel You can but only if the time hasn't already passed. Halloween was two days ago. – Jason Bassford Nov 2 '18 at 22:02

We either say

Someone asked me what my plans for Halloween are.


Someone asked me what my plans are for Halloween.

But we never use your first sentence. That word order is for asking a question,

Someone asked me, "What are your plans for Halloween?"


[1] * Someone asked me [what are my plans for Halloween].

[2] Someone asked me [what my plans for Halloween are].

The position of “are” has an important effect on the grammaticality.

The bracketed elements are subordinate interrogative clauses (embedded question). Such clauses do not normally have subject-auxiliary inversion, and hence [2] is fine but [1], which does have inversion, is ungrammatical.

The meaning of [2] can be glossed as “Someone asked me the answer to the question ‘What are my plans for Halloween?’”

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