When to Use Question Marks

When to Use Question Marks

A question mark (?) is used to mark the end of an interrogative sentence – a question. However, there are certain rules and regulations to consider when we are using punctuation marks. Although a question mark is used to indicate a question, it is important to remember that not all questions end in question marks. Therefore, in this article, we are going to discuss when to use question marks in a question.

The most important fact to remember when placing a question mark is to make sure that there is no other punctuation mark near it. Many of us make the mistake of placing a full stop after the question mark, but there is no need to place full stops near question marks because question marks mark the end of a sentence. Since they mark the end of a sentence, the next word should always begin with a capital letter.

Question Marks with Direct and Indirect Questions

Question marks are always used at the end of direct questions.

Where are you from?

Have you read this novel?

How are you feeling today?

It is important to notice that question marks are not used at the end of indirect questions (question in reported speech).

I asked them what they were doing? Χ

I asked them what they were doing.

She asked me if I was angry with her. 

She asked me whether I was angry with her. √

It is also important to note that some sentences that are in the form of questions are not really questions; they can be exclamations or imperatives. Although they start in interrogative words, they are not questions because they don’t really expect answers.

What a pretty child!

Would you guys knock it off!

What we would do without you!

Question Marks with Tag Questions

Question marks are also used at the end of tag questions. A tag question can be described as a sentence that is half statement and half question since it begins as a statement and ends as a question.

She looks pretty, doesn’t she?

He shouldn’t have quit his job, should he?

You want it, don’t you?When to Use Question Marks

Examples of Sentences with Question Marks

Here are some more examples of sentences that end with question marks:

Have you heard this song before?

Weren’t you elected as the president?

She wanted to get a transfer, didn’t she?

Are you satisfied with your choice?

Harry might join us, mightn’t he?

The teacher asked, “Did you understand the lesson?”

Didn’t he use to live in London?

Question Marks – Summary

  • Question marks mark the end of interrogative sentences.
  • They replace full stops; therefore, there is no need to place a full stop after a question mark.
  • Question marks should always be used with direct questions, but not with indirect questions.
  • Question marks are also used at the end of tag questions.
  • Not all sentences that start with interrogative words end in question marks.

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