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I came across the following sentence:

What gets put where determines the particular type of the architecture.

What's the meaning of the phrase in bold?

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It's a short way of saying "what things are chosen, and where those chosen things are placed". –  Digital Chris Jul 25 at 13:30

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

This is a special form of question that combines two or more questions about the same thing.

  1. What stuff has to get put away?
  2. Where does it all go?

are both reasonable questions to ask in context, and they can be asked in sequence, as here.

But they can be asked simultaneously by using both question words what and where.

Question formation can only leave one question word at the beginning, and since
What represents the noun phrase that is the subject in both questions, it starts the question.
Where is an adverb and appears after the verb; it stays there, since What is already at the start.

That's all, really; just another way English has to combine clauses into shorter sentences.
There are lots more.

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"What gets put where" will mean: the location of 'what' is put 'where'. . .The vase (what) gets put down (where). 'Where' will 'what' go? It is 'what gets put where'.

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With a collection of items that need to be placed, for example, around a room or into a specific order, you would need to decide what gets put where. That is, which item will be placed in which place/position in the room/order.

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