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Why is 'what did you say was your name' wrong ?
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Hi,

What makes you think it's wrong?Emotion: smile

Clive
Some might prefer the inversion:

'What did you say your name WAS? '
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For example, me. Emotion: smile But I'd call it the non-inverted case.

Your name was what > What your name was (Subject-verb not inverted)

Your name was what > What was your name (Subject-verb inverted)

CJ
AnonymousWhy is 'what did you say was your name' wrong ?

From what I've read in books on English usage, it should be 'What did you say your name was?', not 'What did you say was your name?'

We should say:

1. 'What is your name?'

2. 'May I know what your name is?'

3. Could you tell me what your name is?
Hi,

Lots of options. I wouldn't call this exchange wrong or rare:

Q - What did he say was his name?

A - He said 'Tom' was his name.

Best wishes, Clive
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According to 'Modern English Usage' by Fowler, an indirect question is the grammarian's name for a modification of what was originally a question.

Direct question: Who are you?

Indirect question: I asked who he was.

NOT I asked who was he.

Indirect question: Tell me who you are.

NOT Tell me who are you.

Based on the above, shouldn't 'What did he say was his name?' be amended to 'What did he say his name was?' ?

Hi,

According to 'Modern English Usage' by Fowler, an indirect question is the grammarian's name for a modification of what was originally a question.

I don't see an 'original question' at the start of this exchange.

It sems to me that the conversation could be something like

A: Tom is my name. (This is a statement, not a question.)

B (addressing C): I didn't hear him. What did he say was his name?

C: He said Tom was his name. (or He said his name was Tom, I'm not suggesting that is wrong or uncommon.)

Best wishes, Clive
In the New York Times, in questions with ?:

==

  • TELEVISION; Car in Every Garage, Sitcom in Every Cul-de-Sac

    ... did you say your name was?'' he asks. ...

    April 2, 2006 - By DAVID CARR (NYT) - Arts - News

  • PUDGY,FIRST LADY OF INSULT, IN TOWN

    ... did you say your name was? Mary Lou? - Listen ...

    February 27, 1981 - By FRED FERRETTI (NYT)
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