Which sentence is correct?

  1. They won't tell me where is the office.

  2. They won't tell me where the office is.

  • 5
    Your title asks one question and your text asks a different question. They have opposite answers, and if you can't tell the difference between one question and another, it's unlikely we can offer you any help. Feb 19, 2014 at 17:39
  • related (possible dupe) to the edited question: english.stackexchange.com/q/68737/8019 Mar 6, 2014 at 17:23
  • Related.
    – tchrist
    Jun 9, 2023 at 0:34

3 Answers 3


The difference is between

a question in direct reported speech, or direct question

He asked: "Where is the station?"

He asked: "What are you doing this evening?"


a question in indirect reported speech, or indirect question

He asked where the station was/is (if the situation of the station has not changed).

He asked what I was doing that evening.

The word order in an indirect question is the word order of a declarative sentence, not of an interrogative one, that is:

Subject | (Auxiliary) | Verb | Object

There is no Auxiliary-Subject or Verb-Subject inversion as is the case in an interrogative sentence.

And there is not a question mark either.


Where is the office? They won't tell me where the office is.


They won't tell me where the office is is correct.

The problem with the first sentence is that using where + is is creating an interrogative mood, when the beginning of the sentence suggests an indicative mood.

The interrogative mood is commonly conveyed by inverting the subject-verb order. [Source][Author] The subject is the office and is is the verb, in the sentences you mentioned in the body of your question.

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