Tell me what does that say? vs Tell me what that say.

English Error, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #22 [color=blue]“Read before you sign”, question 6

B. Now, let me have a closer look at this. Tell me which does that say?

(a) closer
(b) which
© that

English Error, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #22 [color=blue]“Read before you sign”, answer 6

B. Now, let me have a closer look at this. Tell me what does that say?

Correct entry: what
The error was: (b) which
[size=200]_________________________[/size]

Tell me what does that say?- Is this word order correct? It shouldn’ t be - Tell me what that say.

He says something.
Does he say anything?
What does he say?
Tell me what does he say?

Did it help a little?

Thank you Violino,

But I still have doubts. In my opinion it is indirect speech so word order should be different.

Best regards

Anlab

It is a question, and questions of that sort are always asked with ‘to do’.

You don’t say:

‘What you say?’

You say:

‘What did you say?’

This is not indirect speech :wink:
The answer might be in reported speech, though.

This must not be confused with “Tell me what that says”, which is a command.

The sentence for which this thread was born starts out like a command – “Tell me” – before the interrogative portion is launched. This is a fine point, but to hammer home the obviousness of the need for a question mark, I’d include a comma:

“Tell me, what does that say?”

To recap:

Interrogative: “Tell me(,) what does that say?”
Command: Tell me what that says.

The word “what” does not necessarily connote a question.