Is there a word or phrase that describes a statement that implicitly requires the audience (a person or persons) to respond with a question? For example, if someone says to you, "I just saw the best movie ever!" You, in turn, are implicitly required to ask, "What movie did you see?" The idea I am looking for would be the antonym of a "rhetorical statement", if such a thing existed.

  • A provoking statement?
    – 54 69 6D
    Sep 8, 2016 at 19:56
  • non-rhetorical ?
    – Bohemian
    Aug 15, 2020 at 21:53

4 Answers 4


I believe this is simply the nature of conversation. Asking a question is only one of the acceptable ways to move forward in such a scenario. The audience may respond with a guess instead of a question. The audience may pause and wait for a follow-on statement which provides more information. The audience may also choose to ignore the statement entirely and change the subject.


To my knowledge, no such phrase is commonly used in English. The sole exception would be perhaps a leading statement or question. That is not to say that it comes before something but rather it prompts the user to subconsciously respond (though not necessarily with a question).

Many attorneys (or at least the good ones) are proficient in this as they can trick the respondent into revealing more information than intended.

There could be such a phrase used by academicians in the field of linguistics however.

  • This may be incorrect. A leading question suggests a desired answer; it doesn't prompt one to answer. Sep 14, 2016 at 12:45
  • Removing the part about the leading question, this I think is correct.
    – user195888
    Sep 14, 2016 at 15:37

There is a slang term for Facebook status updates that are like this:


An intentionally vague Facebook status update, that prompts friends to ask what's going on, or is possibly a cry for help.

Urban Dictionary

See also: Vaguebook.

In real life, I would call it a vague, attention-seeking statement. (But not to their face.)


You could call this a prompt.

Cambridge gives:

prompt verb [ T ]

UK /prɒmpt/ US

to do something that causes a reaction or makes someone do or think something:

The accusations of fraud prompted an angry response from the company's CEO.

  • 1
    Hey! Please don't post any more answers that are only a single sentence like this. You need to provide some details as to why your answers are the correct ones.
    – Laurel
    Aug 30, 2023 at 15:44

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