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Why did you not tell the truth? Can you tell me?

Now join them in one sentence. What is the result?

Can you tell me why did you not tell the truth?

or

Can you tell me why you did not tell the truth?

I'm guessing the second one should be correct. You did something i.e. hide the truth and I'm asking you the reason behind it. Can you tell me why(the reason for which) you did not tell the truth?

Right or wrong?

1 Answer 1

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The second sentence is certainly textbook English, but the first sentence isn't actually wrong -- at least if you add a comma after "me"

Can you tell me why you did not tell the truth?
Can you tell me, why did you not tell the truth?

Could you tell me where you put the TV remote?
Could you tell me, where did you put the TV remote?

Could you tell me where in the store I might find light bulbs?
Could you tell me, where in the store might I find light bulbs?

The second form is a little more formal and so is less common, but it's a valid alternate way to form the question.

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  • Sorry, which one is more formal ? the first one or the second?
    – user118494
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 14:39
  • 1
    @user118494 the second one. I've edited my answer.
    – Andrew
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 15:54

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