I recently received by email this sentence:

Please tell me if the problem is now solved.

I usually answer any email I receive that have questions. This sentence is not a question because it does not have a question mark. However it seems legit to interpret this sentence as a question and then I should answer the non-question.

Is it syntactically correct to write this sentence without question mark?

closed as off-topic by Dan Bron, TrevorD, user140086, NVZ, tchrist Jun 18 '16 at 13:38

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    It is an instruction. It expects you to respond. – Dan Bron Jun 16 '16 at 14:32

This sentence is not a question, so should not be written with a question mark. This is as there is no question word (was, has etc.). What this is, however, is a request: the "command" word "tell" indicates that it is an instruction. (command words are composed of the infinitive form without "to" in this case "to tell" --> "tell")

  • 2
    I agree with you, but we tend to discourage people from adding answers proper to basic questions. Basic questions (if well formed) should be directed to ELL. The criterion for "basic question" is "would the average man on the street, a native speaker, know the answer right off the top of his head?". If you'd like to offer some help or guidance to such askers, uou can add a comment. – Dan Bron Jun 16 '16 at 14:39

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.