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I don't know if this is a recent phenomenon, but for the last decade, I've noticed when English speakers make statements denoting there are/were unknowns, they usually phrase them with a question within them, but it always sounds off to me, so I'm wondering if this way of making statements is grammatically correct.

  • People say "We don’t know what are the limitations of technology.", but I expect

"We don't know what the limitations of technology are."

  • People say "They want to figure out what are the variables.", but I expect

"They want to figure out what the variables are."

  • People say "The first step is knowing where is the house.", but I expect

"The first step is to know where the house is."

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    “People” are wrong. I find it hard to believe that native English speakers would say these. Sometimes in stream of consciousness speech things don’t come out just right those are excusable.
    – Jim
    Commented Apr 19, 2022 at 2:09
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    These sentences all sound like they were written by non-native English speakers. I'd assume that they correspond to the grammar of their native language.
    – Barmar
    Commented Apr 19, 2022 at 4:17
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    These sentences sound commonplace in spoken English. People talk the way they talk, and no amount of censure is going to change that. I wouldn't use them in a college thesis, but any but the most hidebound prescriptivist can be heard uttering such constructions.
    – Robusto
    Commented Apr 19, 2022 at 14:07
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    I answered this one long ago; it turns out to be a common way of asking a real question. Commented Apr 19, 2022 at 15:28

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