What this new plan was I had no idea.

What was this new plan I had no idea.

What's the difference between the two? Is one more common than the others?

  • 1
    No one says the latter. The former is usually written with a comma after was.
    – Dan Bron
    Apr 15, 2015 at 12:15

2 Answers 2


What this new plan was, I had no idea. This is a statement, and a common way to say this.

"What was this new plan I had no idea." This is a question ("What was this new plan?") fused to a statement ("I had no idea."). It will be understood by most - along with the assumption that it comes from a non-native speaker. (US)


As the others have said, the 1st sentence is correct. It is a form of indirect (a.k.a. reported) speech, where the inversion that occurred after a question-word in a direct question has to change back to statement word order.

In direct speech you would have a question (inversion occurs):

A: "What is this new plan?"

B: "I have no idea."

Now B speaks about this conversation, and has to use indirect speech (word order goes back to: subject group-verb group).

I had no idea what this new plan was.


What this new plan was, I had no idea.

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