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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.

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  • The second seems more natural. I’d understand the first too, though.
    – StephenS
    Sep 15 '20 at 15:14
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"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?".

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  • Excellent, thanks rjpond!
    – numberfive
    Sep 16 '20 at 0:12
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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?
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  • 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 '20 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 '20 at 19:43

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