Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Possible Duplicate:
“I'm not sure what the right way is”

Direct and indirect questions are not usually the same:

What is your name?
I don't know what your name is.

But sometimes, they become the same:

What is wrong with you?
I don't know what is wrong with you.

What is available?
I like to know what is available.

So my question is, what the grammatical rule is when they become the same.

share|improve this question
1  
Pretty much the same question as in english.stackexchange.com/questions/51123/… –  John Lawler Mar 8 '12 at 5:54
add comment

marked as duplicate by nohat Mar 8 '12 at 18:43

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

1 Answer

You seem to be very confused. Grammatically, "I don't know what your name is." and "I don't know what is wrong with you." are not questions. Of course, if I say, "I don't know xxx." in a situation where it is normal for somebody to tell me xxx, then the statement functions as a question, but that's a matter of context and usage, not grammar.

Simple statements:

I don't know what your name is, and I don't want to know either. I prefer anonymity.

I have run every medical test, and they are all negative. I cannot explain your symptoms. I don't know what is wrong with you.

Statements functioning as questions:

I'm sorry, but you have the advantage of me. I don't know what your name is.

I can't help you if you won't explain your problem. I don't know what is wrong with you.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.