I'm wondering how it is correct to structure sentence and what punctuation should be used. In particular, is the next sentence correct:

I was wondering if there's any progress on the issue.

Or should I put a question mark in the end of it. Also, can it be restructured to:

I was wondering: is there any progress on the issue?

  • well a question would not be question without a question mark – user63520 Jan 26 '14 at 22:06
  • Semi-informal email is where I had to choose. I elected to use a period. But upon reply to my initial correspondence I realized that I was asking a question and should have used "?"... ie...."I was wondering if a physical is necessary for a student interested in participating in the basketball workouts." The purpose of my communication was to receive a yes or no answer. – user197539 Sep 22 '16 at 11:57

You do not need a question mark because the sentence is what is called an "indirect question."

Indirect questions do not close with a question mark but with a period. Like direct questions they demand a response, but they are expressed as declarations without the formal characteristics of a question.

More explanation here.

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Either of your examples is fine. You don't need a question mark in the first one and shouldn't use one there.

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Even though both of them are correct, I'd prefer the first of them in almost every case. Indirect questions are quite handy, since you don't need to change intonation or actually make the sentence look, talk and walk like a question (which is slightly more work than not). Plus, the second sentence is a break, both mentally and linguistically. It's less natural and does have a reverse order (though that might be good too in some situations).

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Indirect questions should end with a question mark only when they begin with a question-asking word (i.e. could, would, do, etc.).

In your case, a period should be used, as your inquiry is written as a statement (not starting with a question-asking word).

Your second example is fine, but uncommon and unnecessarily formal.

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Personally I'd prefer:

I was wondering if there has been any progress on the issue.

Or if you want to ask a question:

Has there been any progress on this issue?

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  • It includes, that issue is now frozen or something like that. I prefer my variant cause it means that person should be working on that particular task at the moment and should have reached some progress. Tastes differ though. :) – Denys S. May 10 '11 at 15:20
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    Well in that case I'd use something like "GET BACK TO WORK" or similar. – MSpeed May 10 '11 at 15:25
  • I doubt that people like to be treated as slaves. IMHO: it greatly depends on the person (and result of whatever you say to him/her), but generally, being in the middle (no slavery, though, not as if you had a halo) works well. :) – Denys S. May 10 '11 at 18:06

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