Which of the following is correct?

Why can't I see?
Why I can't see?

I am a bit confused, since both have inversion, negation and a "why" in the beginning.


The answer is, they're both correct. Just used in different situations.

"Why can't I see?" is a question, asking for the reason the "asker" is not perceiving something.

"Why I can't see" is a statement, not a question. In this case, the person who makes this statement is about to provide a reason for not perceiving something.

  • 2
    Why I can't see? has a question mark and is therefor not correct. – ctrl-alt-delor Mar 30 '12 at 12:00

Why can't I see?

is a question.

Why I can't see

may be used in a title.

He knows why I can't see

is a statement.



  1. Used in questions to ask the reason for or purpose of sth

  2. Used to give or talk about a reason

  3. Used in questions to suggest that it is not necessary to do sth

The sentence

Why can't I see?

is more applicable when you are asking a question [1].

The sentence

Why I can't see?

will be considered grammatically wrong in this case.

However, if you want to talk about the reason behind it (make a statement[2] ), you can use

why I can't see

in a sentence like this:

That's why I can't see.

instead of

That's why can't I see. (grammatically wrong)

But in some countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, etc,

it is alright to ask a question both way.


Why can't I see?

This is perfectly complete meaningful sentence and interrogative sentence.

Why I can't see?

We can't use it in interrogative sentence. It is incomplete sentence.

He doesn't know why i can't see.

It is completely meaningful sentence and not interrogative sentence.

Doesn't he know why i can't see?

It is completely meaningful sentence and interrogative sentence.


Question : Why can't I see ? For EG. This is a question that is genreally asked when you are able to see.. Statement : Why I can't See. For EG. This is a statement when you somebody is forcing you to not see anything.

  • Can you elaborate on that? It doesn't really explain anything. What makes one a statement and one a question? How come why, a typical question word, is used in a statement? – Matt E. Эллен Mar 30 '12 at 16:31
  • You elaboration is incorrect. "Why I can't see" alone is not something one says when one's eyes are covered. A statement would be "Oh your hands are over my eyes! This is why I can't see." Without this is the rest is somewhat wrong. – Matt E. Эллен Mar 31 '12 at 9:16
  • I have already mentioned that this for an example. – Ranna Mar 31 '12 at 16:05
  • Examples still need to be grammatically correct. – Matt E. Эллен Mar 31 '12 at 16:46

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