4

In some old Toefl test, there is a question like this:

______in this town?

I think Mr. Kim is the richest man. 

A. Who do you think is the richest man

B. Who you think is the richest man

I would choose B since it sounds better. But what's wrong with A (or B)?

  • 4
    A, because it is a question. – Leos Literak May 9 '14 at 6:05
  • Thanks, now I have no idea why I think B is correct before... – CYC May 9 '14 at 6:11
  • Maybe you heard it in spoken speach .. – Leos Literak May 9 '14 at 6:15
  • Can I discuss about the comment that CYC made? I am confused what is the right form of that sentence.NO-1 Or NO-2. NO-1 "Now I have no idea why had I thought B was correct before?". NO-2 "Now I have no idea why did I thought B was correct before?". I think sentence NO-1 is correct.Here Now and Before these two words were used.That shows the action that he thought B was correct happened earlier than the action he have no idea.For that reason had was used in place of did.. But I am not sure that i am right..Help anyone?? – TzD May 9 '14 at 7:25
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    @TzD you should ask that as a proper question :) – Nigel Harper May 9 '14 at 12:45
4

______in this town?

I think Mr. Kim is the richest man. 

A. Who do you think is the richest man.

B. Who you think is the richest man.

In a question, the subject and the verb must be inverted, which means the verb must come before the subject. Making it clearer, I will use this statement :

I think he is the richest man.

We are making question about him, so Who is he? I dont know. Now, I'll 1. take out the word him and add in the question word who in the beginning of the sentence. I will also 2. change the word I to you

Who you think is the richest man.

Now, I will 3. put the verb in front of the noun.The clause that should be inverted is "you think". Since the verb think is a normal verb which can't be inverted, the correct way to invert this sentence is adding the helping verb do right before "you think".

Who do you think is the richest man.

The correct answer is therefore, (A).

  • 1
    I don't think it's helpful to say that (B) is also correct. It isn't, because it's not a question. English questions must have inverted verbs (except maybe in unusual or very informal grammar). – Tim Pederick May 10 '14 at 15:53
  • OK, I understand. That's misleading. I'm actually trying to say that it's quite OK to use (B) in daily life talking with friends and things. – Santi Santichaivekin May 10 '14 at 15:56
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    Perhaps it's a dialect thing; maybe in some places it would be normal in casual English. All I can say for sure is that in my dialect (Australian English), no native speaker would ask the question as (B). – Tim Pederick May 10 '14 at 16:04
  • My friend in Canada says that they don't care about the inverted subject-verb thing. As long as everyone understands, it's OK. (I'm Thai and if I say something wrong in English, they don't know that it's wrong. =b) – Santi Santichaivekin May 10 '14 at 16:13
-2

As Leos says, questions are better formed with that format.

Who do you think is the richest man -preferred
Who you think is the richest man - less preferred (informal?)
Who, you think, is the richest man_- okay

Note that both the structures are okay though.

I've read and heard both - What you want? and What do you want?

Maybe, without do the question is common in (informal?) speech.

A famous gag

enter image description here

  • 3
    It's not really okay without the auxiliary. – snailcar May 9 '14 at 7:35
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    @snailplane But as I said I've heard it in informal speech. – Maulik V May 9 '14 at 9:17
  • 4
    By the way, that gag contains a noun phrase, not a question. – snailcar May 9 '14 at 12:12
  • 1
    @snailplane I believe both "Who do you think is the richest man?" as well as "Who you think is the richest man?" are correct. I think there is no confusion of the first one being right. Now consider the second one - "Who, you think, is the richest man?". This a question ***"Who is the richest man?" – Man_From_India May 24 '14 at 1:38
  • @Man_From_India this is very good – Maulik V May 24 '14 at 3:28

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