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A. Who do you think he is?

B. Who do you think is he?

C. Who do you think the best actor of the year is?

D. Who do you think is the best actor of the year?

1. Which is correct in each pair above? My guess is A and D because they sound better to my ear. I'm not sure, though.

2. If my guess is correct, why is the linking verb "is" in A placed after the subject "he"; whereas in B, "is" is placed before the subject "actor"?

3. If both are possible in each pair, which is more natural in each pair?

Please advise. I would be very grateful.
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A. Who do you think he is? OK.

B. Who do you think is he? No.

C. Who do you think the best actor of the year is? OK.

D. Who do you think is the best actor of the year? OK.

C. gives me the impression that the best actor of the year has already been named as the result of a competition, and the listener is supposed to guess who won.

-- I think (=guess) the (person who was named) best actor is Willie Wondrous.

D. gives me the impression that the speaker is asking the listener his opinion.

-- I think (=have the opinion that) Willie Wondrous is the best actor of the year.

CJ
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Thanks so much, CJ!!

By the way... I happened to have a quesiton....

If "Who is he?" is possible, then can't we insert "do you think" here?

Like, "Who is he?" ---->> "Who + do you think + is he?"

pructusIf "Who is he?" is possible, then can't we insert "do you think" here?Like, "Who is he?" ---->> "Who + do you think + is he?"

you think inverts to do you think.
he is inverts to is he.

You can't have two subject-verb inversions in a row like that. Just do the inversion on the first one.

CJ

I see... I see....

Thanks so much, CJ, as always....

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Who do you think she is ?