If my sentence is a question and ends with a quote of a question, where exactly do I put a question mark?

  1. Did she ask, "Is it raining"?

  2. Did she ask, "Is it raining?"?

  3. Did she ask, "Is it raining?"


3 Answers 3


The convention here is to write

Did she ask, "Is it raining?"

with the first question mark included and the second omitted.

See for example Jane Straus's Blue book of grammar and punctuation or Larry Trask's Guide to punctuation.

  • 1
    Isn't there a comma before the direct speech, or is that just a typo? Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 9:22

As reported in Comma sense—a fun-damental guide to punctuation (Richard Lederer and John Shore, ISBN 0-312-34255-1), the question mark should be used once, and inside the quotation marks.

Did you hear me ask, "Do you think that I love punctuation?"

If the quoted sentence contain an exclamation point, then both the exclamation point and the question mark are used.

Did you hear me exclaim, "I love punctuation!"?

Similarly, both the exclamation point and the question mark are used in sentences similar to the following one:

How wonderful that I asked, "Do you think that I love punctuation?"!

  • 4
    Your answer is also in conformance with the current Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (2010) section 6.120.
    – Old Pro
    Commented Apr 28, 2012 at 17:52

Taken from rules concerning Question mark usage here:

In the rare case where the question is about a quotation ending in a question, the sentence ends with a single question mark before the quotation mark.

Incorrect: Who said, "Et tu, Bruté?"?
(Second question mark redundant)
Correct: Who said, "Et tu, Bruté?"

Thus, for your example, it would be :

2.Did she ask, "Is it raining?"

  • 3
    Brute wasn't a frenchman... Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 20:27
  • These are style guide recommendations. I can find an alternative 'allowing' the double question mark in British usage, so labels of 'incorrect' are prescriptive. Commented May 5, 2015 at 19:49

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