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What is the correct form of such a grammar construction?

I'd like to ask why someone didn't do something and I don't know which form is correct.

Why didn't someone do something? Why someone didn't do something?

Naturally, the second form sounds better to me, but maybe it's because of grammar constructions in my native language (PL).

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marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Jan 14 '13 at 10:48

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.

    
Subject–auxiliary inversion in questions. You might be interested in our proposed sister site specifically for English language learners. You can support it by committing. Thank you. –  RegDwigнt Jan 14 '13 at 10:47
    
A statement: >I'd like to ask why someone didn't do something. A question: >Why didn't someone do something? You have the answer in your own words. When a question changes into a statement, or vice versa, the noun and the verb are reversed in order. –  Kris Jan 14 '13 at 11:02
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2 Answers 2

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Correct: Why didn't someone do something?

Incorrect: Why someone didn't do something?

The reason for your preference for the latter is probably, as you say, because of how it would be said in your native language.

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A question beginning with one of the wh- words can be formed with the auxiliary verb do, followed by the subject, followed by the lexical verb. If the question is negative, then not, usually contracted in speech to n’t, follows the auxiliary do. (In formal speech, it may immediately precede the lexical verb.) In the case of your example, this produces Why didn't someone do something?

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