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What is the correct punctuation when repeating a question as a statement?

See the following example, and my best guess:

John: Sorry I missed your phone call. What's happening?

Bob: I was wondering if you wanted to get some lunch.

My discomfort with Bob's response is the following: Bob's response very strongly alludes to an underlying question, but because it is technically a statement, it doesn't get punctuated with a question mark.


If I wanted to communicate this response but include a question mark (to more obviously visually communicate that there is a question that needs answering), how could this be done?

My best idea is to simply restate the question in its entirety and join with a colon. For example (please correct me if any part of is incorrect):

I was wondering: "Do you want to get some lunch?"

marked as duplicate by Laurel, Scott, Skooba, jimm101, tchrist Jan 13 at 1:39

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  • All I'd do is add a comma: "I was wondering, do you want to get some lunch?" Now you separated setting the stage from asking a question. – Yosef Baskin Jun 7 '17 at 22:08
  • Answered at Is there a word or term to describe a statement that implies a question so sufficiently that the question is not actually included? (The question mark would normally be added thus: << Bob: I was wondering if you wanted to get some lunch? >> ) (if one wishes to prompt for an answer; in speech, rising intonation is the marker). – Edwin Ashworth Jun 8 '17 at 0:31
  • Thank you, @EdwinAshworth, I tried to find related questions before asking, but didn't know how others might describe this same concept. – maxathousand Jun 8 '17 at 2:26
  • No problem. I wish there were two set comments: 'Answered at X, but it's no wonder you couldn't find this' (as in this case) and 'Answered at X, as you would have found if you'd bothered to look'. // Your rewrite with the colon is quite acceptable (perhaps a little ungainly). The colon is not so much in favour nowadays, but punctuation around quotes and 'near-quotes' is not so prescriptively regulated. I'd use a dash instead: << I was wondering – do you want to get some lunch? >> Except in the most formal writing, nobody but a hyper-prescriptivist of a certain era would seriously object. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 8 '17 at 9:51
  • Related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/321404/… – Max Jun 15 '17 at 20:52