Is the following sentence a question!?

what should be the meaning of life

I don't mean the meaning I'm talking about Grammer and structure


The initial word "what" and the inverted word order mark this as a question.

What should be the meaning of life?


What should the meaning of life be?

are equivalent in meaning. Either word order is acceptable if the subject is a noun.

If, however, the subject is a pronoun, it is idiomatic for the pronoun to be placed between the modal and main verb.

I have only a rudimentary knowledge of the history of the development of English. I can speculate that this difference between the treatment of noun and pronoun is a holdover from Germanic word order.

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Yes, it's a question. Sentences that begin with an interrogative word, like "who", "what", "where", "why", or "how", followed by a form of "to be", are normally questions.

"Who is that man?"

"Where was Waldo?"

"How will you know?"

Etc. "Should be" here is a variant on "to be".

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  • yeah I know. It's just that we say "what should it be" not "what should be it". Right? – Mhmd Nov 5 '18 at 19:06
  • In this case I think either word order works: "What should be the meaning of life?" and "What should the meaning of life be?" But in other cases, my intuition says it's one or the other. "What should be written on this paper?", NOT "What should on this paper written be?" I'm afraid I don't know what the rule is. – Jay Nov 5 '18 at 21:57
  • Why should it be correct in this case? there are no special differences.I think it must follow the rules – Mhmd Nov 6 '18 at 16:06
  • But what's the applicable rule? I admit I don't know. – Jay Nov 6 '18 at 18:00
  • So since I'm new in this site, I don't know how to update my post in order it appears in the main list where all the new questions are. Can you help me? – Mhmd Nov 7 '18 at 15:28

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