What is difference between:

  • Why I am studying?
  • Why am I studying?
  • I may be wrong here, but I think "Why I am studying" might be "valid" in Indian English. Or maybe it's just a common "error" among Indians who aren't meaningfully "native speaker" Anglophones in the first place. We'd need some genuine IE speakers to pronounce on that one. Aug 23, 2014 at 15:57
  • 'Why I am studying' is not a question, and requires no question mark. It is perhaps the title of an essay which explains why the author is studying. 'Why am I studying', on the other hand, is a valid question.
    – WS2
    Aug 23, 2014 at 20:44

1 Answer 1


The first one is not really a well-formed question in English. Placing the verb right after the interrogative word is the usual way to create an interrogative sentence. Thus: "Why am I studying?", "Where is the station?", "How does this device work?", "Who can lift the stone?"

The other word order would make sense in a clause, but not as a stand-alone sentence. Thus: "I wonder why I am studying," or "She asked me why I am studying." Notice that these sentences are not questions, but statements.

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