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"Which topic did you write your article about?"

"About which topic did you write your article?"

"Which topic you wrote your article about?"

Which of these variants would be correct for writing? My take is that the first question is right in every situation, and the second and third are acceptable only in informal speech. I know that the rule says that there is the single correct construction of wh- questions, but I am wondering if there are any other ways of asking a question.

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    The first is "natural", the second is "stilted", and the third is syntactic garbage (as a "question" - but it's a perfectly valid "noun phrase" in other contexts). I'm not sure what you mean by the rule says that there is the single correct construction of wh- questions, but that doesn't look like any principle of English that I recognise. Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 14:53
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    Interesting. Would you say the same If the preposition 'on' were used?
    – Tuffy
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 15:39
  • @Tuffy Not sure who your comment is addressed to, but please don't try and initiate discussion in comments.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 15:54
  • @AndrewLeach I meant it as a reply to the point Fumble Fingers made. Obviously I used the wrong 'button. I think that leaving 'on' to the end in a question still jars, whereas 'with' is now perceived as stilted.
    – Tuffy
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 16:52
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    Well, if we're talking about jarring, using what topic instead of just what is pretty jarring. Marks the sentence as a schoolroom exercise instead of native speaker output. Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 20:23

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Is there anything wrong with simply "What did you write about?" or "What is your article about?" (depending on whether you're more interested in the person or the content).

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    You probably shouldn't be phrasing an answer as a question, even if it is rhetorical. Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 6:24

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