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What's the correct between these two sentences

Could you please tell me what exactly are you doing ?

OR

Could you please tell me what exactly you are doing ?

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  • The second. You have already used the inversion could you. There's no need for you to invert again.
    – Schwale
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 13:19
  • Are you sure ? My classmates said the correct form is the first one Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 13:23
  • see the Penthouse Principle Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 13:25
  • So the two sentences is correct ? Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 13:28

2 Answers 2

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Neither sentence is standard English.

Can you tell me exactly what you are doing? is the standard form.

However, Can you tell me what exactly you are doing? is a common variation in which the typical word order has been changed.

By changing the typical word order the speaker is being emphatic and so expressing annoyance or irritation.

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In your sentences, the transposition of what and exactly can lead to two different meanings:

Can you tell me exactly what you are doing?

means can you describe in detail what you are doing, the steps

Can you tell me what exactly you are doing?

Asks for details about the goal you are trying to achieve

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