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This is a subquestion to my "And lead raptivity captive" question.

As I understood from a comment by RegDwight, it was incorrect to ask:

  • What mean raptivity and phrase "And lead raptivity captive"?

Do I miss something or I incorrectly memorized the lessons of:

Update: The anwers do not address my question
Are the answers in given above link correct or not?

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Don't read Finnegan's Wake if you're still learning English! For practical purposes, that book is not written in English at all. –  Potatoswatter Jan 31 '11 at 11:37
    
I stopped learning English 20 years ago. –  Gennady Vanin Novosibirsk Jan 31 '11 at 11:52
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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The main problem: you are missing the fact that it makes a difference whether the WH-word is the subject or the object in the sentence.

Let's start with a sentence with no questions:

John saw Mary yesterday.

In this sentence, John is the subject and Mary is the object.

Now, if someone doesn't know about John, they might ask:

1) Who saw Mary yesterday?

This sentence has the structure that you are using, where the main verb comes after who. But this is true only when who is the subject. When it is the object, things are different — now let's imagine that the asker doesn't know about Mary:

2) Who did John see yesterday?

In this sentence, because who is the object, the word order is different. Instead of having the main verb after who, we have do-support, with do in the past tense, and the main verb following John with infinitive form.

So, in your example, the information is:

[Raptivity and the phrase "and lead raptivity captive"] means ______.

The blank line is the information you don't know. As you can see, it is in the object position. That means you must structure your sentence like (2), instead of (1):

What do raptivity and the phrase "and lead raptivity captive" mean?

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The format of a question is modal verb subject verb object.

Do you like ice creams?
Do you need help?
May I help you?
Would you like it?

When the verb is a tense of to be the question format is verb _subject_ modifier.

Are you sure?
Is she happy?
Is she your wife?

When using interrogative pronouns, they are added at the beginning of the question.

What do you like better?
Who is Mary?
How are you?
Where do you live?
When should I go to visit her?

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This is strange that you completely ignored your own Who turned off the lights?, isn't this? –  Gennady Vanin Novosibirsk Jan 31 '11 at 21:14
    
I didn't forget my question. My question was about questions with who; this question is about questions with what. –  kiamlaluno Jan 31 '11 at 21:42
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Update: The anwers do not address my question. Are the answers in given above link correct or not?

The link says

“Who” is the subject ... so you don´t need an auxiliary.

So far as I know, the answer is correct - but it doesn't describe the situation as fully or precisely as the answers here.

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Can I skip auxiliary verb in what-question also? –  Gennady Vanin Novosibirsk Jan 31 '11 at 11:54
    
If "what" represents the subject: "What hit me?" Not if "what" represents the object: "What did I hit?" –  RedGrittyBrick Jan 31 '11 at 17:00
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You should say:

What does 'raptivity', and the phrase 'And lead raptivity captive', mean?

You perhaps need to work on your tenses as:

Do I miss something or I incorrectly memorized the lessons

is also a little off. It should be:

Did I miss something or did I incorrectly memorize the lessons

As you asking whether you missed something in the past, you have to use the past tense of do, which is did.

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protected by RegDwigнt Aug 4 '12 at 19:35

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