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Thread: Special questions in Future Simple with complex subject

  1. #1
    Подающий надежды оратор Arskrigicioniec's Avatar
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    Special questions in Future Simple with complex subject

    Future simple special questions formula is:

    How (question word) will (auxiliary) she (subject) cope (verb) with this problem?

    But if I have a big subject like:
    How much detailed (question words) will (auxiliary) the life simulation of citizens and their demands (subject) be (verb)?
    How will the mechanics of building megastructures like pyramids work?

    Should I put the verb next to it or no? One my friend told me that
    How much detailed will be the life simulation of citizens and their demands
    sounds better. But It doesn't connect with the formula saying that main verb (be in this case) should be next to subject.

    How to make up right that questions with big subjects?

  2. #2
    Подающий надежды оратор Black Forest's Avatar
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    The formula is the better option (placing verb after subject). On another note, the word "much" is unneeded because "detailed" is a standard adjective, rather than comparative, noun, etc. You could say e.g. "how much more detailed" but not "how much detailed".

    So, final sentence: "How detailed will the life simulation of citizens and their demands be?"

    The thing is, what your friend suggested might sometimes be acceptable, but slightly dated/literary, depending on the verb.
    "How fared it with him, then?"
    xXHoax likes this.
    Шварцвальд

  3. #3
    Подающий надежды оратор Black Forest's Avatar
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    (Follow-up)

    Strictly speaking, placing the verb "to be" (any form) in the middle, instead of the end, of this construction would be nonstandard. However, one case in which it may be more common is in a subordinate clause, especially where a subject may be confused with an object. Consider the following:

    "Some believe that experiences are substantially more important than are traits."
    "Some believe that experiences are substantially more important than traits (are)."
    Both are correct, but the former is much less conversational.

    A classical example:
    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
    Шварцвальд

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