When I want to ask how many apples there is in the refrigerator, what is the correct sentence?

1) How many apples are there?

2) How many apples there are?

I asked this question because because that I know that questions that open them-self with question words they don't need question form in the following. For example: "Do you think that I am correct" (compare with: "do you think that am I correct" that is incorrect) but in this case that I raise here I have a doubt.

  • 1
    The first one is.
    – Schwale
    Dec 4, 2015 at 18:26
  • Yep number one is correct. Dec 4, 2015 at 21:27

1 Answer 1


Declarative statements use "there are":

There are some clouds in the sky.

Questions reverse the order:

Are there some clouds in the sky?

In sentences such as "Do you know how many apples there are?" the phrase "how many apples there are" is not a question itself, it is a subordinate noun clause. The word order reversal comes in at "Do you know" (where a declarative statement would say "You do know").

  • "How many apples there are" is a reported speech/indirect speech. You need to be specific about it if you want to post your answer.
    – user24743
    Dec 4, 2015 at 19:12
  • It is not indirect speech. See Wikipedia for a clearer explanation of what indirect speech entails.
    – Era
    Dec 4, 2015 at 19:25
  • I think you misunderstood my point. It is not describing some state of affairs. Is there Wikipedia link to show what "state of affairs" means?
    – user24743
    Dec 4, 2015 at 19:27
  • In this case "how many apples there are" is a subordinate noun clause. Subordinate clauses are used to add information to a sentence and are very common with sentences beginning "Do you know ...". A "state of affairs" is just another way of saying "situation"; I agree it's not a technical description of the construction but the final paragraph is tangential to the question anyway.
    – Era
    Dec 4, 2015 at 19:33
  • I think you got things mixed up. It's up to you to clear it up.
    – user24743
    Dec 4, 2015 at 19:37

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