Let's say my boss asked me to do something. So I want to ask him when I should hand it in. What would be grammatically correct?

  • When would be the deadline?
  • When would the deadline be?

Thank you.

  • The second seems more natural. I’d understand the first too, though.
    – StephenS
    Sep 15, 2020 at 15:14

2 Answers 2


"When would the deadline be?" would probably sound more natural than "When would be the deadline?", but both are correct.

However, I would reserve this form of wording for a situation where I wasn't yet sure whether I would be doing the work. Perhaps someone has asked me whether I can take on some extra work and I'm not sure because I'm already busy, so it depends how quickly it's needed.

If I have been given the work and I don't have much choice in the matter, I'll simply ask "When is the deadline?" or "When's the deadline?" or "When does this need to be done by?".


Both the options are perfectly fine. Apart from this you could also the following:

  • Sir, when is the deadline of the project?
  • Sir, when will be the deadline of the project?
  • In British or American companies, you would very rarely call a colleague "Sir" you should always use people's names. "When will the deadline be" is strongly preferred over "when will be the deadline".
    – James K
    Sep 15, 2020 at 19:31
  • @JamesK Yeah I have heard about this culture, but in India it is different. And colleagues can or cannot be called by names, but seniors couldn't be. At least I have learned that. There are many who defy this policy though. But I tend to stick to it. Sep 15, 2020 at 19:43

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