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Please could you release orders for March to June 2019.

closed as off-topic by J. Taylor, curiousdannii, David, Rand al'Thor, choster Feb 19 at 1:42

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  • That's a bureaucratic way of being politically correct when telling people to do something, it's not a question per se. So the terminal period is more common than a mark of interrogation. Note the Please at the beginning -- obviously it's not a question. – Kris Feb 15 at 7:49
  • It is an interrogative, but it's not being used to ask a question, i.e. you're not asking for an answer. Rather, it's a directive. – BillJ Feb 15 at 8:36
  • Possible duplicate of When do I use a question mark with "Could you [please] ..." – Chappo Feb 15 at 22:33
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Using a question mark would change the semantic meaning.

I've heard people say this form both with the raised ending indicating a question and without. I'm less confident than Kris that the ordering between "Please" and "could" is semantically significant, but this is absolutely a candidate for the "politer than thou" do this now! form.

I can imagine some contexts that could potentially suggest it was more likely to be an actual question - specifically, if the person asking doesn't have the authority to give such an order. But I expect that the context is that the person making the statement has the authority to direct the person who would release the orders to release them, but does not have the access to do it themselves. It's also possible they do have the access, but are wanting to exercise their authority over the person they're directing.

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Yes. "Could" marks it as a question, so it needs the appropriate punctuation mark.

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    I wouldn't go along with that. Although it has the form of an interrogative, it's actually a 'directive', not a question, since it is not asking for a reply. (Btw, not my downvote). – BillJ Feb 15 at 8:39
  • Simply wrong. Grammatically it requires a question mark,whether or not it is pragmatically a directive. – see sharper Feb 16 at 10:26
  • Directives with the form of a polite request do not require a question mark because they don't ask questions. Syntactically, the OP's example is an interrogative, but semantically it's a directive -- it's not seeking an answer, so no question mark is required. – BillJ Feb 16 at 11:36

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