Inversion (who is the man standing at the door.)

I don’t know _____________________.
(A) who is the man standing at the door
(B) who the man standing at the door is
The answer is B. Is choice A really not acceptable?

Hi Sitifan

Option (B) is grammatically correct, and (B) is also the option that sounds natural to me.
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“I don’t know” suggests a question to be answered, there.

It works in similar way to:

Could you tell me who the man standing at the door is?
It’s a mystery who the man standing at the door is.
May I ask who the man standing at the door is?

etc.

Sorry for the digression but I have lost my memory about the difference in locality between ‘at the door’ and ‘by the door’. Could you please shed some light on it?

Hi Haihao

If you say ‘at the door’, I picture someone standing in front of it, probably facing it, perhaps knocking or ringing a doorbell to be let in.

If you say ‘by the door’, I picture something next to or in the vicinity of the door. For example, you might keep your umbrella or a pair of boots by the door.
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How about with “Stand by the wall, you bad boy!”?

Haihao asked quite specifically about ‘at/by the door’. I suspect he will understand my response. If he doesn’t, I’m sure he will ask for further input about his specific question.
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Actually, in my country bad boys are made to stand in the corner. :slight_smile:

Hi Alex

‘Stand in the corner’ does sound more likely, doesn’t it.
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Even if about to be shot? :wink:

Which one of these would “the man standing at the door” belong to?

Hi Amy,

Thank you so very much again and I’d like to add that your pictures both answered my questions and cleared my doubts away completely.

Haihao