[Grammar] Can you tell me where is the money?

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englishhobby

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I have to explain to my students why the word order in the sentence Can you tell me where is the money? is incorrect. I am not sure which grammatical terms I should use. Is it an indirect question? Or is it an embedded question?

On the other hand, I seem to have read somewhere that the word order in sentences like the one I quoted (Can you tell me where is the money?) is possible, too (with the linking verb "to be" only). Is it so?
:-?
 

Rover_KE

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Direct question: 'Where is the money?'

Indirect question: 'Can you tell me where the money is?'

The word order has to change in the indirect question form and in the embedded question form: 'I want to know where the money is.' (No question mark.)


Rover
 

englishhobby

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Direct question: 'Where is the money?'

Indirect question: 'Can you tell me where the money is?'

The word order has to change in the indirect question form and in the embedded question form: 'I want to know where the money is.' (No question mark.)


Rover

Thank you. I was also wondering if it would be definitely a mistake to say "I want to know where is the money".
 

emsr2d2

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Thank you. I was also wondering if it would be definitely a mistake to say "I want to know where is the money".

I'm going to say yes, it's a mistake. And now I'm going to sit back and watch several people disagree with me. ;-)
 

hetzer

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Thank you. I was also wondering if it would be definitely a mistake to say "I want to know where is the money".

I know for sure this is a mistake. On the other hand, I know a lot of people who say it is OK.:shock:
 

Odessa Dawn

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"I want to know where is the money".

Thank you. I was also wondering if it would be definitely a mistake to say "I want to know where is the money".

I'm going to say yes, it's a mistake. And now I'm going to sit back and watch several people disagree with me. ;-)



"I want to know where is the money".

1.
"I want to know" = Introductory phrase.

2.(Where, why, when etc.)

3."The money" = should be constructed in a positive sentence. - "The money is"

Will you accept that analysis? Am I right?

 
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probus

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Re: "I want to know where is the money".

Hello OD:

A question please. Why have some of your questions recently begun appearing in new threads, rather than in their original threads? There may be a good reason; I just don't know what it is.
 
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5jj

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Re: "I want to know where is the money".

A question please. Why have some of your questions recently begun appearing in new threads, rather than in their original threads?
I have merged these two threads.
 

Odessa Dawn

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Re: "I want to know where is the money".

Hello OD:
A question please. Why have some of your questions recently begun appearing in new threads, rather than in their original threads? There may be a good reason; I just don't know what it is.


Thank you for your question. To me, it is a must to stick to teachers' commands/directives. I have been told not to hijack others' threads as you see below.

OD, there is a danger of hijacking this thread. If you have a question about a construction in someone else's thread, please copy the relevant passage and open a new thread with your own question.

Edit: As you can see, I have moved your question and started a new thread with it.
https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/ask-teacher/183858-university.html

 

5jj

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Re: "I want to know where is the money".

Thank you for your question. To me, it is a must to stick to teachers' commands/directives. I have been told not to hijack others' threads
In posr #6, you appear to be posting a tentative response to the original question. If you intended it as an original question, then there was no need to link to this thread.
 

probus

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Re: "I want to know where is the money".

Thanks for merging the threads 5jj. It is much easier to answer if we can review the earlier conversation.

Hello again OD:

I am not at all certain about your analysis of the sentence, and that kind of analysis is not something I am very good at. But I think I have a good grip on idiom. In light of that I was rather surprised by emsr2d2's anticipation of disagreement. To me "where the money is" is absolutely cast iron idiom and "where is the money" just plain wrong. If somebody told me that "where is the money" is acceptable I would assume they were using a dialect I am not familiar with.
 

5jj

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Re: "I want to know where is the money".

I was rather surprised by emsr2d2's anticipation of disagreement.
When 'what', 'who' or 'which' is involved in a direct question containing the linking verb BE, both word orders are possible:

"Who is the current president of the United States?"
He asked me who the current resident of the United States is.
He asked me who is the current president of the United States
.

Some people are not sure whether this is possible with other wh- words
 

tedtmc

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Re: "I want to know where is the money".

The difference lies in the order of the subject and verb.

In a statement (or indirect question), the subject comes before the verb - where the money (subject) is (verb)
In a direct question, the subject comes after the verb - where is(verb) the money(subject)

not a teacher
 

englishhobby

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Re: "I want to know where is the money".

It's OK with Odessa, I haven't even noticed anything.) So, coming back to my original post, what would you recommend to say to my students when explaining the structure of an indirect question:
1) The word order in an indirect question is always direct. (e.g. Can you tell me what the time is?)
2) The word order in an indirect question is usually direct, but in colloquial English it can be indirect (e.g. Can you tell me what's the time?").

Which of the two explanationa do you personally like?
 

SoothingDave

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I'm going to say yes, it's a mistake. And now I'm going to sit back and watch several people disagree with me. ;-)

Here we go. I could see someone saying this, but it would be represented as two questions. Can you tell me? Where is the money?
 

emsr2d2

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Here we go. I could see someone saying this, but it would be represented as two questions. Can you tell me? Where is the money?

Yes, that's my feeling. The difference is between how it sounds when it's spoken, and how it's written down. I would write it like this:

Can you tell me - where is the money?
Can you tell me something - where is the money?

I maintain that, in writing, "Can you tell me where is the money?" is incorrect.

I would expect to see either:

Can you tell me where the money is?
or
Where is the money?
or
Tell me where the money is.
 

5jj

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Re: "I want to know where is the money".

coming back to my original post, what would you recommend to say to my students when explaining the structure of an indirect question:
1) The word order in an indirect question is always direct. (e.g. Can you tell me what the time is?)
It isn't. See post #12.
 

5jj

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I maintain that, in writing, "Can you tell me where is the money?" is incorrect.

I would expect to see either:

Can you tell me where the money is?
or
Where is the money?
or
Tell me where the money is.
I agree.
 
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