How do you transform this question into indirect form?

Who will be the new replacement teacher?

Then the transformation is:

Can you please tell me who the replacement teacher will be?


Can you tell me who will the replacement teacher be?

I do not understand the placement of the will here. Which sentence is correct?

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  • Indirect form means reported speech: "They asked who ..." – Greg Lee Jan 30 at 13:47
  • @GregLee: But "indirect form" doesn't inherently imply backshifting: They ask who will..., as opposed to They asked who would... – FumbleFingers Jan 30 at 14:10
  • @FumbleFingers, True. – Greg Lee Jan 30 at 15:13

Who will be the new replacement teacher?

Here, the subject is 'who', not 'the new replacement teacher'.

If it were the latter, the question would have been:

Who will the new replacement teacher be?

Therefore, the indirect question has the same structure as the direct question:

Can you please tell me who will be the new replacement teacher?

  • I'll buy that. Not that the difference in syntactic role makes any difference to the meaning, since who in the first version actually means / refers to the [unknown, as yet] new replacement teacher anyway. I'm not too hot on the terminology, but might we be dealing with a nominal relative clause / fused relative construction here? – FumbleFingers Jan 30 at 15:35
  • @FumbleFingers I don't think the indirect question is a nominal/free/fused relative construction, if that's what you're asking. I believe it's an interrogative content clause (which is equal to 'indirect question' in traditional grammar) since you can't say *Can you please tell me the person who will be the new replacement teacher? – JK2 Jan 30 at 15:44
  • I'm not really "asking" (because I don't really care). I voted to migrate to ELL, where I assume most questioners simply want to be told what native speakers say, and how (ordinary, not terminologically-trained) people understand the significance of possible different word sequences. But we're on ELU, where imho that kind of thing is effectively Off Topic anyway (everyone here should know perfectly well how we phrase things). So here at least, it should be more a matter of "The Naming of the Parts". – FumbleFingers Jan 30 at 15:58

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