Ex without "could"

where is the bathroom?

Ex with "could"

Could you tell me where the bathroom is?

Ex with "could" improper use of "is"

Could you tell me where is the bathroom

So why do we move the "is" when we use the "could"

  • "Could you tell me where is the bathroom" is not improper, it's just not idiomatic. – Hot Licks Mar 6 '20 at 3:08
  • I used this on my test in class and the teacher told me it was wrong, but could not explain why. It is on our test which is reviewed by lots of professors – lemroh Mar 6 '20 at 3:10
  • 1
    Embedded questions—questions within questions—do not undergo subject-verb inversion. See Embedded Questions: Definition & Examples. – Tinfoil Hat Mar 6 '20 at 3:22
  • You are asking for a piece of information - where the bathroom is. – Kate Bunting Mar 6 '20 at 13:21

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