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Is it a correct sentence:

What do you think has happened with her?

it looks like both parts - "you think" and "has happened" require the same word - "what" but here is only one "what". If we give this "what" to "you think" then "has happened" will have no noun. If we will do conversely by giving "what" to "has happened" then "you think" will be left without this "what". Or it can be for both of them having only one "what", not two and so on?

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    It's a correct sentence but I'm not sure I can explain why. Generally speaking, it's proper to follow one clause with a new clause that refers back to something prior in the sentence. What -> do you think -> has happened -> with her... flows correctly. Mar 25, 2019 at 1:15
  • [An accident] happened to her. Try making a question out of that. What, do you think, has happened to her. It's embedded.
    – Lambie
    Mar 25, 2019 at 18:53
  • It's like only one "what" can serve for both "do you think" and "has hapened" at the same time? Mar 26, 2019 at 9:48
  • What has happened to her / What is going on with her
    – Smock
    Aug 14, 2019 at 10:24

3 Answers 3

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Is it a correct sentence: What do you think has happened with her?

) it looks like both parts - "you think" and "has happened" require the same word - "what" but here is only one "what".

2) If we give this "what" to "you think" then "has happened" will have no noun.

3).If we will do conversely by giving "what" to "has happened" then "you think" will be left without "what".

4). Or it can be for both of them having only one "what", not two and so on?


Yes it is a correct sentence. The answer is in how we perceive what has been written. From your question and the comments I have read this has been perceived as two phrases, built around "you think" and "has happened". But is this actually the case? The actual meaning of "has happened with" is "occurred relating to"

What do you think has happened with her or What do you think occurred (happened) relating to (with) her. To tidy this up a little.

What do you think occurred relating to her? in this case this is a clearly defined statement not needing a second "what"

For clarity The misconception and confusion regarding the "what's" arises from the focus on "has happened" instead of the more meaningful "has happened with"

Happen means ‘occur’ and most commonly ‘occur by chance’: Cambridge English Dictionary

What will happen if it rains?............... Will someone tell me what’s happened?

with: preposition (RELATIONSHIP): Cambridge English Dictionary relating to or in the case of a person or thing:

How are things with you?

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" You think " and " has happened " both required " What " as their subject. " That + which " can be shortened and combined into "What" or " whatever " for the sake of flow specially in day to speech , conversation and normal use. That+which is rather academic and is used to pay greater importance to antecedent.

"What" being an interrogative pronoun proceeds the inversion of helping " DO". Let us do a gimmick with the sentence.

  • Do you think (that+ which) has happened with her?

"What" is an interrogative objective pronoun fronted for the purpose of questioning but at the same time discharging the function it serves as a relative pronoun.

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  • What - do you think - has happened to her?
    – Lambie
    Mar 25, 2019 at 19:10
  • Hm, okay, it seems to be able to serve for two different parts of the sentence at the same time but only with one "what". Mar 26, 2019 at 9:50
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    We can easily bypass the problem if we think it's not WHAT but the entire " Questioning WH- Noun Clause ",. " What do you think " is the subject of " has happened with her". But the sentence is so nicely worded it automatically refers back to WHAT again. Nice question indeed! Mar 26, 2019 at 11:27
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What do you think has happened with her? is incorrect.

'Happen' means 'take place' or 'occur', and you have used past tense.
'Has happened' is completed by the present.

"What do you think has happened to her?" is correct, because you are asking 'what' in relation to 'her' as far (in time) as the present.

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  • I also initially thought that with was not correct and should have been written as to. However on reflection this is a very clever sentence. With is in fact correct as with means "relating to".
    – Brad
    Aug 22, 2019 at 9:35
  • Why would you promote the mistaken and clumsy use of 'with'?
    – Clint
    Aug 26, 2019 at 13:52
  • @ Clint I did not realise I was promoting it. It is not my question I am just answering it. However I do not believe for one minute the use of with was anything but intentional. In Northern England the term "what's up with her" is in very common use. I am sure that it has been used many times on the television. In fact the Cambridge Dictionary references what's up with dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/what-s-up
    – Brad
    Aug 26, 2019 at 14:05
  • @Brad, I agree that this is a very clever sentence and is correct as written. The use of "happened with her" is quite fine to my ear. It implies that {the things that have happened} have happened {in the vicinity of her}, not necessarily to her directly. Sep 25, 2019 at 10:34

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