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I have a question regarding the word-order in interrogative sentences. I think, the following two statements are grammatically correct; however, how do I explain the difference between them? (That is, when do we use No.2?)

1. Who is Shakespeare?
2. Who Shakespeare is?

Can the second sentence be said in situations like in a classroom for, instance, when the lecturer says, "Let me tell you who Shakespeare is"? Or, can it be a heading on the slide show:

"Who Shakespeare is...
1. He was an old bard
2. He was the playwright of innumerable sonnets and plays.."

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  1. Who Shakespeare is?

As far as I can think, that is not a grammatically correct sentence. I am not a grammar expert so I am wary of making a definitive judgement, but to my native-speaking ears it sounds very wrong. Even if it is possible to contrive a scenario where it is grammatically valid, it is not something you would commonly hear.

Can the second sentence be said in situations like in a classroom for, instance, when the lecturer says, "Let me tell you who Shakespeare is"?

Yes, the lecturer's sentence there is fine. But you are not using "the second sentence". You are constructing a new sentence which also uses the words but "who Shakespeare is". That doesn't mean the words "who Shakespeake is" form a correct sentence in isolation.

Or, can it be a heading on the slide show:

Yes, this works as well. But again, in this example, "Who Shakespeare is:" is not serving as a sentence in itself. It requires completion from the subsequent bullet points to form a grammatically complete and correct sentence.

Also, in both of these examples, the words "who Shakespeare is" are used to form statement sentences, not interrogative sentences.

So, the short answer is:

(That is, when do we use No.2?)

We don't.

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In English when we make an interrogative sentence the subject and verb swap places:

  • Statement: I am Barney.
  • Question: Am I Barney?

The case with constructing interrogative sentence with question words keeps the swap but also introduces the question word:

question word + verb + subject

  • Who am I?

However if we are using an embedded sentence or a relative clause with a question word we shouldn't apply the subject-verb inversion and instead go by the rules that form an affirmative sentence:

  • I can tell you who I am. (not who am I)

Let's look at your example:

  • Affirmative: Shakespeare is...
  • Interrogative: Is Shakespeare...?
  • With question word: Who is Shakespeare?
  • Relative clause: I know who Shakespeare is.

Strictly according to grammar rules you can not use the part that is the relative clause at any time other than in direct speech on purpose for focus and repetition:

  • Can you tell me who Shakespeare is?
  • Hmm. Who Shakespeare is? Well, he is..
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