Hello everyone and thank you for your consideration. I am a professional English teacher and I usually can find answers for every grammar question, but I have one student that is very good at coming up with questions to stump me. I believe I'm on the right track with this one, but I would really appreciate some confirmation.
The question is the difference between these two:
May I know what your name is?
May I know what is in your hand?
I've already searched and read multiple posts here, including this one: "I'm not sure what the right way is"
I've already explored the basic sentence with the student (May I know 'something') and that there is an embedded phrase/clause in the object. Is the answer simply that the first example has an embedded phrase and the second has an embedded clause?
I also explored with them the difference between
- May I know what your hand is? (Imagine a game of cards)
- May I know what is in your hand?
In the embedded phrase/clause, it definitely seems to be a matter of whether there is a noun phrase ("your hand") or any other kind of word/phrase (like the prepositional phrase "in your hand," an adjective, verb, etc.). Am I on the right track?