Questions tagged [question-mark]

Questions about the question mark (?) that appears at the end of questions.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
116 votes
6 answers
157k views

Is it ever correct to have a space before a question or exclamation mark?

In written English (mainly online) I often come across sentences ending with a question or an exclamation mark with a space before it. Is it always just an error or a typo? Or there are cases when it ...
  • 10k
53 votes
10 answers
184k views

Is there a standard ordering for the question mark and the exclamation mark used together?

We've all wanted to express certain questions, rhetorical or not, with annoyance, excitement, surprise, frustration and so on. What better way than with both a question mark (?) and an exclamation ...
  • 1,081
49 votes
4 answers
12k views

How should I punctuate around quotes where the punctuation required by the quote interferes with the punctuation of the sentence?

The American convention in quotations is (typically) to place punctuation inside quoted text. But I always run into situations where the punctuation of the quote interferes with the punctuation of the ...
25 votes
5 answers
247k views

When do I use a question mark with "Could you [please] ..."

A sentence like Could you please pass me the pepper shaker is not really a question. Should I use a question mark or a period to end this sentence? What about: Could you let me know when the ...
  • 617
22 votes
2 answers
215k views

Should sentences like "I wonder..." end with a question mark?

This may be related to a general grammar rule, but which of these is correct? I wonder if Steve Jobs will be giving the keynote speech at WWDC this year? or I wonder if Steve Jobs will be ...
's user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
133k views

Where does the question mark go — inside or outside the parentheses?

I know that when brackets enclose part of a sentence, the full stop goes outside. I tripped over this morning. I was distracted by a plane (which turned out to be Superman). If it's a full ...
  • 6,757
15 votes
7 answers
50k views

Using a question mark mid-sentence

May I use a question mark in the middle of a sentence? Examples: Would you like the drapes to be white? or perhaps something off-white? Would you like the logo to be centered? at the bottom? left off ...
14 votes
3 answers
13k views

Quoting a question at the end of a sentence which is itself a question

If my sentence is a question and ends with a quote of a question, where exactly do I put a question mark? Did she ask, "Is it raining"? Did she ask, "Is it raining?"? Did she ...
14 votes
2 answers
27k views

What does a question mark inside parentheses (?) mean?

If a sentence/word has (?) at the end, does it mean the sentence is not a fact and the author is not sure about it? As in the example: I am the tallest(?) in our class. Which means I am not sure ...
13 votes
7 answers
4k views

Any authoritative source on British rules on space before question mark?

Is it ever correct to have a space before a question or exclamation mark? is affirming what I always use, but now some translators I know said that I always need a space before. I am sure they are ...
  • 29.5k
12 votes
2 answers
84k views

Punctuation with "The question is..." '.', '?' or ' "... ?" ' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Position of question mark when sentence doesn't end with question Take this statement for example: That's not the question. The question is what was Colonel Mustard ...
  • 6,428
10 votes
8 answers
6k views

Is the question mark misused in affirmative sentences?

For example, I found the following sentence written by a native English speaker (UK) so I'm going to assume that he knows how to put it the right way, although I wouldn't use this form. I now have ...
  • 245
10 votes
2 answers
14k views

Position of question mark when sentence doesn't end with question

This is something that has always bugged me. I am never sure where to place the question mark, or whether to place it at all when the end of the sentence does not finish with a question, or a number ...
  • 501
10 votes
2 answers
40k views

Does "Who knows" need a question mark?

Although "who knows" is almost as an expression for giving sense however, expressions can be statements, orders, and questions, so does the expression: "who knows" need a question mark?
  • 185
9 votes
6 answers
5k views

Is it OK to add a question mark to show inflection?

When asking a question you generally have to raise your voice at the end of the sentence, is it okay to stuff a question mark in order to show inflection? A couple examples: 'That really happened?' '...
  • 2,719
9 votes
3 answers
636 views

Which punctuation mark dominates?

If a question is asked in surprise, informally many people use "?!" as their ending punctuation, as in the following: What did you do to my sausages?! According to the accepted answer in this ...
  • 1,196
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

How should a question which quotes a question be punctuated?

Suppose there is a sentence in question form, like the one appearing below: Where do you belong to? Now, if a speaker refers to that question, he will frame another sentence and will place the ...
8 votes
4 answers
241k views

Is there a difference between “?!” and “!?”? [closed]

Is there any difference between “?!” and “!?”? The Wikipedia page on Interrobang describes: In informal English, the same inflection is usually notated by ending a sentence with first a question ...
  • 2,143
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

Question mark usage/position when sentence ends with a declarative quotation?

Who said "I am hungry?" The quotation is not a question, but do I put "my" question mark there anyway? This is related to, but not the same as Position of question mark when sentence doesn't end ...
  • 3,559
7 votes
6 answers
51k views

When is it appropriate to end a question without a question mark?

Basically, if I ask a rhetorical question, it's not really prompting for an answer. Does that mean it should not end in a question mark? Here are two examples: "What's New" used as a title for a ...
  • 387
7 votes
3 answers
24k views

Do I need a comma after this question mark?

I want to write the folowing sentence in some work: You went there on Thursday? for instance, is not an interrogative clause but a declarative one, even if the utterance may be a question. In the ...
7 votes
1 answer
527 views

Using "?:" after a question

I find myself using the dual punctuation marks "?:" when I want to say "I have a question about the thing that follows". For example: Is it possible for the following sentence to be translated into ...
7 votes
5 answers
1k views

Punctuation of an exclamative question

What is the proper way of writing an exclamative question: What are you doing!? What are you doing?! or is it better to just leave it as a simple question?
  • 409
7 votes
1 answer
857 views

Is "qo" a step in the evolution of the question mark?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Question_mark According to the wikipedia article I've linked to above, "qo" was sometimes used in the middle ages to abbreviate the latin word "questio" in the way that we ...
  • 71
6 votes
3 answers
10k views

Punctuation for a non-question question

Some sentences begin with a construction like "May I suggest that...." These are phrased as questions but are really statements. Should such a sentence end with a question mark or a period [full stop] ...
6 votes
2 answers
15k views

Should I use a question mark when the second independent clause of my sentence is not a question?

Is it appropriate to use a question mark at the end of a compound sentence where the first independent clause is a question but the second is a statement? For example: Do you want attribution for ...
  • 1,253
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Punctuating a Sentence Containing a Question

If a sentence contains a complete question, but ends with a statement, should it be punctuated with a question mark? Example: Could she go to the store, he wondered
6 votes
2 answers
15k views

Question mark followed by a comma or semi colon in a list

Is it ever okay to follow a question mark with a comma or semi-colon? For example, would any of the following be valid? 1 The main questions addressed in the literature are: who said it?, what does ...
6 votes
2 answers
22k views

How should a question ending in a statement be punctuated, as ending it in a question mark seems a little off?

In the example in the headline to this question, the statement qualifying the question makes the punctuation seem ill-fitting... Here's another example: Will you be able to make a decision on ...
6 votes
1 answer
959 views

Using Multiple Sentence Stoppers? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a standard ordering for the question mark and the exclamation mark used together? When writing an exclamation-question like: What you you mean, I'm fired Don't you think ...
  • 4,109
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Punctuating "What are you going to do, sue me?"

For example: What are you going to do, sue me? Is that correct? Or is there supposed to be a question mark after the first question: What are you going to do? Sue me? It seems like "Sue me?" ...
  • 162
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

If a sentence ends with a place name that ends with an exclamation mark, what punctuation should follow?

There are a few place names in the world that end with exclamation marks; for example, Westward Ho! and Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!. I suppose there are multiple cases here: If an ordinary statement ends ...
  • 791
4 votes
3 answers
21k views

Question marks at the end of declarative sentences [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is the question mark misused in affirmative sentences? I often see declarative sentences ending with question marks, like these: I tried your solution but it didn't work? ...
  • 989
4 votes
3 answers
4k views

Do you use a question mark when a sentence starts as a question but then turns into a statement?

Do you use a question mark when a sentence starts as a question but then turns into a statement? For example, "Can you explain this to me, because I don't understand the second part." "What did he ...
  • 41
4 votes
2 answers
455 views

Using question mark in a question

I reproduce below a question: "Which of the following is correct: 1. If you so desire, you may download the content. 2. You may download the content, if you so desire." The question should take a ...
4 votes
1 answer
33k views

Is it acceptable to use "Just wondering" as a question? [duplicate]

I often find myself writing sentences such as: "I am wondering if the landlord replied to you yet?" And I always end up removing the question mark and rephrasing the sentence. In speech it is easy to ...
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

How should I write "Why questions"?

I would like to know how to properly write, somewhere in a paragraph, the phrase "Why questions". By which I mean questions of the form "Why... ?". The sentence I would like to write is "How to ...
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Punctuation following an interruption with a dash

I am not sure what the correct punctuation to use when ending a clause that was introduced with a dash when the next character in the main sentence is a punctuation mark. Take the following contrived ...
  • 645
3 votes
3 answers
6k views

"Scare quotes" and placement of question mark--inside or outside?

Consider the following sentence: Did you know you can donate "stuff"? "Stuff" in this case means "anything besides cash." It's the lead-in to an article informing users on a charity's website that ...
  • 141
3 votes
1 answer
632 views

Question mark or period at the end of "What is your favorite song, and explain why"

Which would be correct? What is your favorite song, and explain why? (I'm thinking this is right.) What is your favorite song, and explain why. This could be written as, "What is your ...
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Placement of question mark when terminal quote has no question mark but sentence does [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Question mark usage/position when sentence ends with a declarative quotation? If I'm quoting something someone said and the quote does not have a question mark, but I want to ...
  • 133
3 votes
2 answers
7k views

Question? or Question? sentence structure

I'm not exactly sure on how this should be structured. I have a question, or, question that reflects first question. Does the media change the way we think? or Does it have no effect on us?
3 votes
1 answer
4k views

em dashes and question marks

Would it be correct to use the question mark as it is written in the following sentence? "If your cousin invites you to visit—and why would he not?—I will expect your return after only nine days."
  • 31
3 votes
1 answer
325 views

Can a clause beginning "I assume" be made into a question by intonation?

I recently answered a question on ELL. It included a sentence similar to this: If it's neither A nor B, I assume that it's C? I answered the question, and noted that I think that a clause beginning &...
  • 191
3 votes
2 answers
794 views

Punctuating a quoted question within a quoted statement

I'm working on a story, and I find myself faced with something of a quandary. Specifically, I need to know the proper style for the following: “I have thousands of them,” the commissioner answered,...
3 votes
0 answers
105 views

If a question ends in the abbreviation of et cetera, do you still add the period before the question mark? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When “etc.” is at the end of a phrase, do you place a period after it? Example: How do I pay for the bananas, oranges, etc.? or How do I pay for the bananas, oranges, ...
  • 55
2 votes
5 answers
13k views

Punctuation around the word "OK" at the end of a sentence

If a sentence ends in "OK", and the sentence is a request, usually there is a comma before the OK and a question mark after it. The comma signifies a pause, correct? What if there was no pause, then ...
2 votes
2 answers
9k views

Ending a sentence with "?!" or "!?"

When ending a sentence with a ? and a !, is there a rule which one comes first? That is, ?! or !?? If either is okay, are they interchangeable, or for difference circumstances?
  • 131
2 votes
3 answers
86 views

Is it possible to make a declarative sentence starting with 'Can'?

everyone As the title shows, is it possible to make a declarative sentence starting with "Can"? For example, 'Please, can we request that you do not accept any proposals from him.' The ...
2 votes
1 answer
388 views

Confused in the usage of "where" in a non-interrogative sentence

I was writing an essay, but I came across a weird sentence: Where peace prevails, justice prevails. In the above sentence, I am confused if the usage of "where" at the beginning of the ...