I usually hear people incorrectly using are/is such as in the sentences "I don't know what is that" or "Do you know what are the examples?" What is the correct use of grammar called in these instances? Some sort of agreement?

  • "are" is correct in that second example, although it should be at the end.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 10:47
  • 1
    The verb agreement is fine. The word order is wrong. Come on now. You can't possibly be confusing the two. The term you are looking for is subject-auxiliary inversion, see the linked question. The agreement is perfectly fine. "That" is singular, and "examples" is plural. All 100% correct.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 11:28

1 Answer 1


"I don't know what is that"

This sentence is a bit strange and needs punctuating, but or is otherwise fine. Agreement-wise 'that' is singular, do you need to use the singular conjugation; is. The following makes total sense:

"I don't know, what is that?

"Do you know what are the examples?"

In this sentence, again, the agreement is fine; the word 'examples' is plural so you use are. The one thing you do want to change, is the word order. Because it is a question you swap it around, do it should look like the following:

"Do you know what the examples are?"

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