What is the difference between these two sentences:

1 ) Please tell me why is it like that. (should I put question mark at the end)

2 ) Please tell me why it is like that. (should I put question mark at the end)

  • Welcome on ELU.se . You might read about page to understand why I took the liberty to remove greetings and thanks from your post. – FabienAndre Nov 7 '13 at 13:23
  • I got it.Thank you.But how should I appreciate others who answer my question? – JUST16 Nov 7 '13 at 14:14
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The first question is more inquisitive and could be rephrased to be: "Please explain why it is like that."

The second question is of a slightly more confronting nature and could be rephrased to read: "Please prove to me why it is like that."

  • 1
    Hi. Thank you. What about the question mark. Should I use it? – JUST16 Nov 7 '13 at 16:04
  • Please tell me "why is it like that?" / Please tell me why it is like that. – Simon Woo Jan 9 at 8:40

1) Please tell me why is it like that. [grammatically incorrect unless the punctuation is changed.

Please tell me: Why is it like that?

The question: "Why is [etc.]" is a question form in English:

  • Why is the sky blue?
  • Why is it that children require so much attention?
  • Why is it [or some thing] like that?

When that form is put into what is called indirect speech, it becomes:

  • Please tell me why the sky is blue.
  • Please tell me why children require so much attention.
  • Please tell me why it's like that.

The question form becomes a statement and therefore, the clause must follow the subject + verb rule for a declarative sentence with no subject and verb inversion.

2) Please tell me why it is like that. [correct]

Please tell me why [etc.]is not a question. Therefore, it would take no question mark. You can see that the first three examples above are questions and take a question mark at the end.

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