0

I have four sentences below, showing the different locations of “what, which” in a sentence.

  1. What is the right of innocent passage, and in which part of the oceans does it apply?
  2. What is the right of innocent passage, and it applies to which part of the oceans?
  3. What do you call it?
  4. You call it what?

The 1st and 3rd sentences are original. I moved “which, what” to the rear part of these sentences as the 2nd and 3rd sentences show.

Do you think the modified sentences sound natural? I mean do native speakers will say in that way? Or the modified ones are grammatically wrong at all?

  • The question title should give a short idea of what the question is about. This question is about the postion of "which". "What do native speakers say?" was not a good title, so I've edited. – James K Mar 8 at 20:34
1

Only the first examples (...in which...) and (What do...) are correct. So "You call it what?" is incorrect as a substitute for "What do you call it?". There is one case where you can use that expression. That is when you want to express surprise at what someone calls something. Then you can say "You call it WHAT?", with vocal emphasis on the last word.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you Jack O'Flaherty. I have one thing to confirm with you. The second sentence “What is the right of innocent passage, and it applies to which part of the oceans?" is a correct substitute for the first sentence, right? – edgar Mar 8 at 20:04
  • No. To be idiomatic, the second sentence should be "What is the right of innocent passage, and which part of the oceans does it apply to?". – Jack O'Flaherty Mar 9 at 2:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.