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Question marks


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How to use question marks correctly

How to use question marks correctly

Published in: Education

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  • Transcript

    • 2. What Are the Rules?
      Use a question mark at the end of a question. Example: Did Steven go with you?
      2. Use a question mark at the end of a declarative statement that you want to emphasize as not believing the statement.
        Example: She's our new teacher?
      Use a question mark with parentheses to indicate
      that you are not sure of a spelling or other fact.
        Example: I have to visit an orthopedic (?) doctor
      next week.
    • 3. More on Question Marks
      It is considered bad form to use a question mark in combination with other marks, although that is often done in informal prose in an attempt to convey complex tones: He told you what!? That combination (or similar combination) of punctuation marks is sometimes called an interrobang, but the interrobang currently has no role in academic prose.
    • 4. A tag question is a device used to turn a statement into a question. It nearly always consists of a pronoun, a helping verb, and sometimes the word not. Although it begins as a statement, the tag question prevails when it comes to the end-mark: use a question mark. Notice that when the statement is positive, the tag question is expressed in the negative; when the statement is negative, the tag question is positive. (There are a few exceptions to this, frequently expressing an element of surprise or sarcasm: "So you've made your first million, have you?" "Oh, that's your plan, is it?")
    • 5. The following are more typical tag questions:
      • He should quit smoking, shouldn't he?
      • 6. He shouldn't have quit his diet, should he?
      • 7. They're not doing very well, are they?
      • 8. He finished on time, didn't he?
      • 9. She does a beautiful job, doesn't she?
      • 10. Harold may come along, mightn't he?
      • 11. There were too many people on the dock, weren't there?(Be careful of this last one; it's not "weren't they?")
    • Be careful not to put a question mark at the end of an indirect question.
      • The instructor asked the students what they were doing.
      • 12. I asked my sister if she had a date.
      • 13. I wonder if Cheney will run for vice president again.
      • 14. I wonder whether Cheney will run again.
    • Be careful to distinguish between an indirect question (above), and a question that is embedded within a statement which we do want to end with a question mark.
      • We can get to Boston quicker, can't we, if we take the interstate?
      • 15. His question was, can we end this statement with a question mark?
      • 16. She ended her remarks with a resounding why not?
      • 17. I wonder: will Cheney run for office again?
    • Put a question mark at the end of a sentence that is, in fact, a direct question. (Sometimes writers will simply forget.) Rhetorical questions (asked when an answer is not really expected), by the way, are questions and deserve to end with a question mark:
      • How else should we end them, after all?
      • 18. What if I said to you, "You've got a real problem here"? (Notice that the question mark here comes after the quotation mark and there is no period at the end of the statement.)
    • Sometimes a question will actually end with a series of brief questions. When that happens, especially when the brief questions are more or less follow-up questions to the main question, each of the little questions can begin with a lowercase letter and end with a question mark.
      Who is responsible for executing the plan? the coach?the coaching staff?the players?
    • 19. If a question mark is part of an italicized or underlined title, make sure that the question mark is also italicized:
      My favorite book is Where Did He Go?
      (Do not add a period after such a sentence that ends with the title's question mark. The question mark will also suffice to end the sentence.) If the question mark is not part of a sentence-ending title, don't italicize the question mark:
      Did he sing the French national anthem, la Marseillaise?
    • 20. When a question ends with an abbreviation, end the abbreviation with a period and then add the question mark.
      Didn't he use to live in Washington, D.C.?
      When a question constitutes a polite request, it is usually not followed by a question mark. This becomes more true as the request becomes longer and more complex:
      Would everyone in the room who hasn't received an ID card please move to the front of the line.
    • 21. The Interrobang
      In case you're interested in the interrobang, you should know that you're in good and serious company. Some people think it ought to look like the symbol to the right of this paragraph. Click on the interrobang to visit a Web site devoted to its care and feeding.
    • 22. Question Mark Practice
      Instructions: Click on the word you think the question mark should follow.
      Are you ready????
    • 23. 1. What
      That’s wrong!
      That’s right!
      Question marks end all direct questions.
      2. Really
      No kidding
      That’s right!
      Question marks end incomplete questions.
    • 24. 3. Your
      That’s wrong!
      That’s right!
      Question marks end statements that are intended as questions
      4. He
      if he
      That’s wrong!
      That’s right!
      Question marks end statements that are intended as questions
    • 25. Well? How did you do?
      If you want more exercises just email me and I will send them to you.