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  1. monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    #1

    Question RE: Correct Usage Of A Question Mark

    Hi folks,

    I would like to check, please, if I am using a question mark correctly - or incorrectly as the case may be. The scenario relates to when one is, you might say, thinking aloud.

    For example:
    "I am assuming that I was not invited to the party because of the rude remark I had made towards David. In all honesty, I am not even sure why the hell I made that obscene comment in the first place?"

    I am specifically referring to the question mark at the very end of the second sentence.

    I tend to write this form very often. To my mind it is not a rhetorical question, nor am I requesting the audience to respond. As mentioned above, I feel, rather, that it is an expression of the writer (inwardly) asking her/himself a question.

    Many thanks in advance for any kind assistance offered here.

    Best,

    Paul David Seaman (UK)
    Last edited by monsterjazzlicks; 27-May-2020 at 18:18. Reason: comma
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    #2

    Re: Correct Usage Of A Question Mark

    Phrases like I'm not sure why I did that are declarative statements, not questions. As such, a question mark is the wrong final punctuation.

    The order of the second part's subject and verb tells you it can't be a question. Standard order is subject-verb: I did that.

    Questions use inverted order: Why did I do that?
    Last edited by GoesStation; 27-May-2020 at 00:50.
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  3. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Correct Usage Of A Question Mark

    You're right that there is some kind of question that you're asking yourself as to why you made the comment, but the question mark is really not necessary to get that idea across. It's already expressed by the utterance itself.

  4. monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Correct Usage Of A Question Mark

    Hi guys,

    Thanks very much indeed for your responses. I will reply later on today.

    Paul
    Mature student of GCSE English, GCSE Maths, and Level One BSL.

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  5. monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    #5

    Thumbs up Re: Correct Usage Of A Question Mark

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Phrases like I'm not sure why I did that are declarative statements, not questions. As such, a question mark is the wrong final punctuation.

    The order of the second part's subject and verb tells you it can't be a question. Standard order is subject-verb: I did that.

    Questions use inverted order: Why did I do that?
    Hi GoesStation,

    That's an excellent explanation, thank you. As I mentioned earlier, correct usage (and understanding) of this form is something I need to get to grips with because I use this particular type of structure rather frequently (eg. in forums).

    I was unaware of the "subject-verb" and its inverted form 'rule', and so you have provided me with a robust model of which to adhere to.

    Much appreciated,

    Paul
    Mature student of GCSE English, GCSE Maths, and Level One BSL.

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  6. monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    #6

    Thumbs up Re: Correct Usage Of A Question Mark

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    You're right that there is some kind of question that you're asking yourself as to why you made the comment, but the question mark is really not necessary to get that idea across. It's already expressed by the utterance itself.
    Hi jutfrank,

    I am pleased that you, like myself, can sense the implication of one inwardly asking oneself a question.

    Yes, I am quite certain that, as you kindly suggest, the question mark can be dropped altogether.

    Many thanks,

    Paul
    Last edited by monsterjazzlicks; 27-May-2020 at 18:34. Reason: italics
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    #7

    Re: Correct Usage Of A Question Mark

    Quote Originally Posted by monsterjazzlicks View Post
    the question mark can be dropped altogether.
    Not quite. A question mark would be incorrect. You need a full stop (period).
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  8. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Correct Usage Of A Question Mark

    Paul

    It will interest you to know that your sentence is a very good example of what we call an indirect question, which in a sense is a question disguised as if it were not one.

    You can read more about indirect questions here:

    https://www.thoughtco.com/indirect-questions-1210671

  9. monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    #9

    Thumbs up Re: Correct Usage Of A Question Mark

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    It will interest you to know that your sentence is a very good example of what we call an indirect question, which in a sense is a question disguised as if it were not one.

    You can read more about indirect questions here:

    https://www.thoughtco.com/indirect-questions-1210671
    That's brilliant!

    I really appreciate the additional assistance jutfrank.
    Last edited by monsterjazzlicks; 27-May-2020 at 19:38. Reason: icon
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  10. monsterjazzlicks's Avatar
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    #10

    Question Re: Correct Usage Of A Question Mark

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Not quite. A question mark would be incorrect. You need a full stop (period).
    Hi Piscean,

    Do you mean in place of? (ie. a period replaces the question mark).

    Cheers.
    Last edited by monsterjazzlicks; 27-May-2020 at 19:37. Reason: icon
    Mature student of GCSE English, GCSE Maths, and Level One BSL.

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