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Recently, I've found myself writing sentences which are statements, but which conclude with a question, either in parentheses or as a quotation, and being unable to decide quite how to punctuate.

For example:

She said, "Are you coming home?" -- versus -- She said, "Are you coming home"?

... and:

He looks unhappy (but isn't he rich?) -- versus -- He looks unhappy (but isn't he rich?).

Also, is this affected by whether on not one is using British Punctuation (cf. the Oxford Comma) or American Punctuation?

marked as duplicate by Roger Sinasohn, Peter Shor , Edwin Ashworth, Community Jun 10 '17 at 14:46

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  • Probably a duplicate..... – Drew Jun 9 '17 at 16:36
  • @Roger Sinasohn. The example there is of an overt (or implied -- "The ambassador asked ...") question, concluding in a question. Not quite what I'm asking about, which is how to deal with a statement which concludes with a question, either in parentheses or in quotation marks. Is the entire sentence a statement or a question? – Robin Hamilton Jun 9 '17 at 16:49
  • @Peter Shor Definitely pertinent to my question. I'm still trying to digest what was posted there (following through from your heads-up) but at first glance, it doesn't quite solve my problem (but I may be missing something). – Robin Hamilton Jun 9 '17 at 17:00
  • I think what is niggling my brain here is as much a matter of semantics as it is of punctuation. Is a statement which concludes with a question itself a question or a statement? (which may be making a mountain out of a molehill). The answer would seem to be, "Avoid the occasions of sin!" and rework the Awkward Question in another form. – Robin Hamilton Jun 9 '17 at 17:19
  • You have two questions. In the first, you are quoting a question. Since the quote would have had a question mark, why would leave it out within the quotation marks? You could clarify, also, that she did not say this but asked it: She asked, "Are you coming home?" – Yosef Baskin Jun 9 '17 at 20:15

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