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I want to ask about some plans, which I want to define in the question. And I want to start with I wonder. So something like:

I wonder what the plans for the next steps regarding the topic we discussed yesterday are.

Admitting the sentence is not beautiful, I wonder if it is grammatically correct. It seems to be, according to the British Council. But the verb in the end looks too much disconnected from the plans to me. However having a long immersion into German, where it would be correct, I can neither find a better form nor actually recall whether it's correct to do the same in English.

So, is the phrase above correct?

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    Yes, though the sentence could be trimmed and the verb ("are") moved closer to noun ("the next steps") for more clarity. "I wonder what the next steps are regarding the topic we discussed yesterday". – seismatica Jul 16 '14 at 9:24
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    It's not 'incorrect', but is, as you say, and for the reason you say, rather disjointed. 'I wonder – what are the plans for the next steps regarding the topic we discussed yesterday?' solves the 'stranded verb' (my term here) hiccup, but doesn't address the major disadvantage (as I say, not error) of this sentence: the sentence contains too many linked modifiers. It also sounds a little vague. Try: 'The matter we discussed yesterday – I wonder what the Government's plans for the next steps are?' – Edwin Ashworth Jul 16 '14 at 9:26
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    Just move are to after plans. – pazzo Jul 16 '14 at 9:32
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In line with the commenters above, I find your sentence grammatical but a little awkward (for the same reason you do).

I'd suggest either of these two variants, both of which place the verb 'are' somewhat closer to the subject of the sentence:

I wonder what the plans are for the next steps regarding the topic we discussed yesterday.

I wonder what the plans for the next steps are regarding the topic we discussed yesterday.

  • Since you are the only one to write an answer, not comments, you get the "accept" :) Thanks everyone! – texnic Jul 16 '14 at 13:59
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FTR it's worth noting that in English, it is very common for "I wonder..." to be a filler meaning: I have doubts about the following.

For example, "I wonder if you should buy that house ..." - it's a euphemism for 'Hmm, I think it's a bad purchase."

That's not always the case, but just bear it in mind.

  • Isn't it the case that this meaning is there only with I wonder if/whether, not just I wonder? – texnic Jul 16 '14 at 20:54

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