Is there any difference between these sayings

Why are you smiling?


Why you are smiling?


What is your name?


What your name is?


Yes, there is a difference. Sentences 1 and 3 are correct, and are used very commonly. They are grammatical. As for sentences 2 and 4, there are grammatically wrong, unless they are part of another sentence, for example,

"Are you happy? Is that why you are smiling?"


'JimJim'? Is he making fun of you or is that what your name (actually )is?"

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  • I couldn't think of where such word orders would occur in a question. Good examples! – BobRodes Mar 18 '16 at 6:13

You are smiling

is a simple statement. To turn into a closed question (one that requires a "yes/no" answer), you swap the verb and subject:

Are you smiling?

To ask an open question (one with multiple possible answers), you swap the verb and subject, then put a question-pronoun (why, when, where, to whom etc) where the subject was:

Why are you smiling?

So, if you don't swap the verb and subject, "why" is a relative pronoun, not question pronoun, so it's not a question. it's not a complete sentence any more because the relative pronoun needs to tie it to something else, like this:

I know why you are smiling

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