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Which one is correct?

I was the person she'd always been waiting for?

or

Was I the person she'd always been waiting for?

I'm not sure why, but both seem weird to me, unlike:

Am I the person she'd always been waiting for?

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2 Answers 2

Technically speaking, yes/no questions must begin with a modal or auxiliary verb followed by a subject, e.g. Am I right?; Does it work?; Should we begin?; Will they leave tomorrow?; etc.. Other questions, (wh- questions) follow more or less the same form but simply place the wh- question word before the modal/auxiliary, e.g. Why am I right? How does it work? Where should we begin? When will they leave tomorrow? Was I the person she'd waited for? etc..

We can also ask questions as if they are statements which do not follow this form. They are normally only used as an echo of uncertainty and the voice nearly always rises in pitch at the end, e.g. Person A says: There were 100 people to choose from and she chose you. Person B says: Really? She chose me? The question as statement beckons a confirmation, because it almost seems impossible. The proper form would be: Did she choose me? But it doesn't fir the situation.

So, to answer your question, both are correct but it depends on what came before this question.

Don't forget there are also indirect questions, but that's another story.

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"Was I the person she'd always been waiting for?" is a simple question, "She's always been waiting for someone - am I that someone?". It sounds like the speaker is saying at some point in the past he asked that question, and he's now recalling that event or thought.

"I was the person she'd always been waiting for?" sounds like the speaker has just found out or been told that he is that person, and is expressing doubt or surprise.

"Am I the person she'd always been waiting for?" sounds as if she has stopped waiting for the person, but the speaker is now wondering if it was him. e.g., she died, and then later he realised it might have been him. The first question could have this meaning, as well.

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