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    • Join Date: Oct 2007
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    Could/ Might he be right about that, I wondered.

    The following sentence comes from Martin Hewings' ADVANCED GRAMMAR IN USE:
    Ray told me that someone had bought the old house next door. Could/ Might (Might would be rather formal here) he be right about that, I wondered.

    Could you tell me why we have 'Could/ Might he be right about that' rather than 'He could/might be right about that' in this sentence? If it is a question for the reason of the phrase 'I wondered', then why isn't the question mark "?" used?

    Thank you.

  1. Hi_there_Carl's Avatar

    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 464

    Re: Could/ Might he be right about that, I wondered.

    It is because it is in the form of a question that she is asking to herself.

    Could/ Might he be right about that, I wondered.

    You use a question mark whenever the sentence itself asks a question. For instance, you don't put a question mark in after a rhetorical question, because an answer is not really wanted. And you wouldn't but one in in a sentence like this one:

    George wondered whether he had made a mistake in punctuation.

    Because even though George has a question, the sentence itself is a statement of that fact, rather than a query.

    On the other hand, in dialog (internal or external) a sentence that would otherwise be a statement could be turned into a question, complete with question mark, in order to indicate doubt or disbelief.

    "Who did it?"
    "George did it."
    "George did it?"

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