I am a student and write to professors frequently. And often, I have to use sentences like this -

Could you give me an appointment to meet you regarding this matter.

I am usually confused whether to type a question mark at the end of this sentence or a plainly end it with a full stop. Typing a question mark appears a bit rude to me, so I often end the sentence in a full stop.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Matt E. Эллен, FumbleFingers, oerkelens, user66974, tchrist Jun 13 '14 at 14:18

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  • 3
    How is using a question mark rude? – Matt E. Эллен Jun 13 '14 at 11:49
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    I am confused why you think a question mark is a bit rude. How do you usually end your questions? – Kit Z. Fox Jun 13 '14 at 11:49
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    I would think without a question mark is more rude, presumptively turning it from a passive aggressive lead on directly to a command. – Mitch Jun 13 '14 at 11:57
  • I don't know. Now that I have asked the question, I feel like an idiot. This was bugging me for some time, so took time to ask it here. I thought this would be a common feeling, but evidently, it isn't. – nnori Jun 13 '14 at 11:59
  • @KitFox: Tsk. And you a mod supposed to be helping to make ELU a "welcoming" site. OP already told you he finds question marks offensive, and you just throw one right back at him! – FumbleFingers Jun 13 '14 at 12:25

If it's a question, you should use a question mark:

Could you give me an appointment to meet you regarding this matter?

If anything, leaving out a question mark from a question could make it seem rude.

To make it more polite, include please:

Please could you give me an appointment to meet you regarding this matter?

  • Okay. This is probably a culture thing. I understand now. – nnori Jun 13 '14 at 11:52
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    Perhaps, but you didn't say where you're from (or where your professor is), and I don't know of any cultures where a single question mark makes a question rude (multiple question marks is another matter.) – Hugo Jun 13 '14 at 11:56
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    However every culture surely has some sort of please custom in a polite expression of desire. – Andrew Leach Jun 13 '14 at 12:05

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