Sometimes people use this on me, instead of asking me question directly, they ask it with a statement.

For example, instead of asking me

Do you own a car?

They will state

Wow, it must be nice to drive around town with your own car instead of a bus

If I object to this statement, I imply that I don't own a car. If I don't, they assume that I own a car.

Is there a technical term in rhetoric or English syntax for a question posed as a statement?

  • 1
    Dropping hints? Fishing for information? Beating around the bush? You could open your question up to phrases beyond one word. – Yosef Baskin Jul 21 '17 at 13:43
  • If you don't own a car, surely all you need to say is "Yes, it must be." – Kate Bunting Jul 21 '17 at 15:12


Wary and unwilling to take risks.

They make the inquiry this way to avoid the risk of asking a question you might say no to.

A leading statement. This is a bit of a stretch both as a single word and as common usage describes a question.

A question asked in a way that is intended to produce a desired answer.

They lead you to provide an answer to the inquiry.

Implied question.

involved, indicated, or suggested without being directly or explicitly stated; tacitly understood:

They imply the inquiry.

Provocative statement.

to give rise to, induce, or bring about:

They hope to provoke you into providing the information.


It's a round-about way of getting information. It's not very polite and is considered "prying" or "probing" or "digging" or "snooping". Mothers are famous for this when they try to find out, for example, who you might be dating.

Mom: That new girl in your class always dresses nicely.

You: Quit with the interrogatory declaratives, Mom. Just ask me whether I'm going to ask her out.

  • 2
    The question asks for a technical term for a question posed as a statement. "Prying" doesn't describe such utterances (though it may describe the purpose of some of those utterances). – Dan Bron Jul 21 '17 at 12:32

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