Is this grammatically correct sentence? I cannot seem to understand the grammar behind the structure of this sentence

So if we change "would" to "why", it seems incorrect to me to say

"why he is the voice of reason?"

It seems more natural to say

"why is he the voice of reason?"

so if I apply the same pattern to "would", it makes more sense to me to say

"Would be he the voice of reason?"

1 Answer 1


When you change a statement into a question, the subject and the auxiliary must switch places.

Statement: He is the voice of reason
Question: Why is he the voice of reason

This phenomenon is known as the subject-auxiliary inversion. One thing to note about the subject-auxiliary inversion is that only the subject and the first auxiliary are involved.

The sentence below has two auxiliaries: "would" and "be". So only the first auxiliary ("would") is fronted; "be" should remain in-situ:

Statement: He would be the voice of reason
Question: Would he be the voice of reason?

The sentence below is therefore ungrammatical:

*Would be he the voice of reason?

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