+0
A student asked me the folowing question. Why doesn't the object precede the verb in the indirect question "Do you know what's wrong with it?" as it usually does in indirect questions like "Do you know what it is?". I think it might have something to do with "wrong" being used as an adverb and the use of the prep phrase "with it". But I can't put my finger on it. Hope you can. thanks
+0
Because the original (or direct) question is "destroyed". It's not the "main" question anymore. Compare:

A: Where's the bank? (direct question)
B: It's two blocks ahead, on the corner.

X: Do you know where the bank is? (indirect question)
Y. Yes. It's two blocks ahead, right on the corner.

The answer to the first question is: "The bank is two blocks ahead". Notice: "where...?" <> "it is...".

In the second question, the answer is: "Yes, I do", implying "I know where the bank is". It's in concordance with the question "Do you know?". What comes after the answer to the main question is just a complementary clause. Check this:

A: Did she tell you what time John is arriving?
B: No, she didn't. But I know the time already.
A: What time is John arriving?
B: He's arriving at 5:30.

Hope this helps! Emotion: smile
Comments  
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Thanks that does help somewhat but I'm sorry to say I'm not entirely satisfied in that I do not want to tell my student that the word order of an indirect question is dependent on the manner in which its answer is oriented to it. This will only confuse her. After all it's possible to answer the second question in "X" in Raul's example by giving the complimentary clause alone.

Does anybody else have any other examples that demonstraight this point. I can think of another example that is similar to the first "Do you know what's wrong with it?" For a slightly different rephrased question the word order follows the usual inversion pattern e.g "Do you know what the problem with it is?"

A similar example can be seen if "wrong with" is replaced by "difficult about" e.g. "Do you know what's difficult about it?" versus "Do you know what the difficulty with it is?"

Any ideas?
I'm not entirely sure that I understand your question .... but the following has occurred to me - maybe it will help.
Something is wrong with it ..... ('something' is the subject of the verb)
What is wrong with it? ........ ('what' is the subject of the verb)
As Raul pointed out, in indirect questions, the subject stays in front of its verb - 'Do you know where it is?'.
As I see it, your example just follows the rule.
Here's another example:
Who made that cake? (direct question - 'who' being the subject)
I wonder who made that cake. (indirect question)

Is that what you were talking about? If not, just ignore me.
Somebody else has told me that the difference between the two examples "Do you know what's wrong with it?" and "Do you know what it is? is that the whole phrase "what's wrong with it" is being used as an adverbial modifying the verb "know". So the "it" that appears in this phrase is not actually a subject in its own right but merely a constituent part of an adverbial. Therefore since there is no subject, per se, there is no need to invert the word order. In the second example "Do you know what's difficult about it?", which I made up, this explanation also appears to hold water.

Any additional considerations out there?
Thanks all.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
I agree with Lib--when the subject of your sentence is actually the interrogative pronoun, you don't change the word order.

For example:
"What does it mean?"
"What does it mean?" is the direct question, "Do you know what it means?" is the indirect question. You invert the word order because "what" is not your subject, "it" is your subject.

But the sentence:
"Who is responsible?"
"Who is responsible?" is the direct question, "Do you know who is responsible?" is the indirect question. You do NOT invert the word order because the interrogative pronoun "who" is actually your subject Emotion: smile.

I know, this post comes late (a year later), but I figured it might be helpful Emotion: smile.