In one online course, I saw the following phrase:

In this video, you learned what is data and you also saw how not to misuse data.

My question is: shouldn't it be 'you learned what data is,' since it is a simple affirmative statement which does not require any inversion?

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    You're quite right that most native speakers would express the "subject" (what you learned) in the "noun phrase" format wh-word + subject + verb rather than the "question inversion" format wh-word + verb + subject . Non-native speakers are much more likely to use the latter format. But that doesn't mean the less common format is "invalid". It's just less common. Oct 23, 2022 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


Normally one would say "what data is", and not the other way around. However, it may be that the title of a previous section in the training was posed as a question, ie 'what is data?' and the speaker was referring back to this.

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