Of these two senteces which one is correct ? and why? To me the first one sounds correct.

(1) Can you tell me how much is it?
(2) Can you tell me hom much it is?

The 2nd one is the way in which it is written in the book and I am not quite sure.

Original Post
The second sentence is correct: Can you tell me how much it is?

In the second sentence, the word order of the second clause – how much it is – may seem strange. You probably spent a great deal of time and effort in your study of English to learn the word order of questions.

If the words "how much is it" were a question, it would of course be correct. However, in these sentences, the words do not form a question, but rather a noun clause that serves as the object of the verb "tell." In grammar texts, it is called an "embedded question," or an "included question," meaning that the question itself is embedded or included – that is, located inside – a larger sentence.

"Can you tell me" in your sentence contains the main subject and verb. "How much it is" is the direct object of "tell". {"Me" is the indirect object.) In place of those words, you could have a noun, a pronoun, or a noun phrase, too, such as "Can you tell me your name?" or "Can you tell me this?"

The word order in noun clauses is different from the word order in questions. The word order in noun clauses is: (1) question word (s); (2) subject; (3) verb. The word order in questions with the verb "be" is: (1) question word (s); (2) verb; (3) subject.

Here are some other examples using questions and using embedded (included) questions:

Question: How's Grandpa today?
Embedded Q: Can you tell me how Grandpa is today?

Question: Where were you last night?
Embedded Q: Can you tell me where you were last night?

Question: When are they arriving?
Embedded Q: I don't know when they are arriving.

Question: Who is that man?
Embedded Q: I don't know who that man is.

Question: What is this?
Embedded Q: Nobody told me what this is.

Rachel

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