A rhetorical question is a question that doesn't require an answer.

What's the name for a rhetorical device that's a non-question that requires an answer ?

Eg, in the following convo what role does "Say we did" play ?

Person A: "We could 'forget' to invite Steve."
Person B: "Say we did."
Person A: "If he came anyway, we'd know he wasn't a vampire."

My best guess is "implied question". In this case, it would expand to "Let's say we did, what would happen ?"

Can you think of any other examples ?

Note: there's "The opposite of a rhetorical statement" which is also looking for the "opposite" of a rhetorical question, but that is about requiring the listener to respond with a question.

  • "Say we did" has several words elided.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 5, 2020 at 17:23
  • @HotLicks i've never heard "elided" used to refer to entire words, but yes, there is a lot that's implied. I'm not a linguist by any stretch, so feel free to fix my question if I've used the wrong terms
    – nqzero
    Apr 5, 2020 at 17:29
  • A leading statement? "We expected you at the party." Apr 5, 2020 at 18:43
  • 1
    I'm stuck at the forget part. Apr 5, 2020 at 20:21
  • 2
    It's leading the other person to continue decribing the scenario.
    – Barmar
    Apr 6, 2020 at 5:16

1 Answer 1


The sentence Say we did is also a declarative statement.

Forgot sounds like the elided word: To omit or slur over (a syllable, for example) in pronunciation.

  • 1
    The question is about the response by person B, not the statement by person A.
    – Barmar
    Apr 6, 2020 at 5:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.