Question Marks



Question Marks :



Question marks end all direct questions. This includes incomplete questions and statements intended as questions.

For example :

What is your name? (Direct question)
Really?
When?
No jokes? (Incomplete question)
Your name is Fred? (Statement intended as question)

Sentences which describe a question but do not directly ask a question are called indirect questions. They do not take a question mark.

For example :

He asked if he could leave early? (Describes but does not ask a question.) (Incorrect)

He asked if he could leave early. (Correct)

He asked, ‘May I leave early?’ (The question is directly quoted) (Correct)

Question or exclamation marks in quotations :

If a question or exclamation is quoted directly, the quotation contains the question mark or exclamation point.

For example :

Leela said, “When will we reach Hyderabad?’

Sheela said, ‘How impatient you are!’

If the question or exclamation is at the end of the quotation, the question or exclamation mark comes before the closing quotation mark.

For example :

‘Look at that!’ he exclaimed. ‘Did you see that’? (Incorrect)

‘Look at that!’ he exclaimed. ‘Did you see that?’ (Question mark or exclamation point comes before the quotation mark.) (Correct)

A question mark can be found outside the quotation mark if the sentence is asking about a quotation, but the quotation itself is not a question.

For example :

Did Mark Antony say, ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen?’ (A question is not being quoted. The speaker is asking about a quotation.) (Incorrect)

Did Mark Antony say, ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen? (Correct)

In rare cases where the question is about a quotation ending in a question, the sentence ends with a single question mark before the quotation mark.

For example :

Who said, ‘Et tu, Brute’?’? (Second question mark not required.) (Incorrect)

Who said, ‘Et tu, Brute?’ (Correct)



Question Marks



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