Question Mark (?)

Use of Question Mark (?) at the end or where it is necessary in a sentence is compulsory in writing. It usually indicates that something is asking to some person.

What is Punctuation?

Punctuation is the art of rightly putting pauses, points and stops in writing in order to make the sense clear and comprehensible.

Use of Question Mark (?)

The basic idea behind using Question Mark (?) in writing is to clear the idea or sense which writer wants to convey. Question Mark (?) comes in a sentence mostly at the end of a sentence. The question mark usually represents that something is asking in a sentence.

Sometimes, question mark is used to make request to someone and after a direction question.

The question mark is used after a direct question.

  1. Where are you going?
  2. What is your name?
  3. Did you write a letter to your friend?
  4. Have you completed your work?
  5. Do you take part in games?

Note: Interrogative sentence has two kinds.

The first one, which start with helping verbs and they are completed with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Helping verbs are following:

Do, does, did, is, are, am, was, were, has, have, had, shall, should, will, would, can, could, may, might

i. Why did you beat the dog?

The second sentences are that, which start with ‘w’ or ‘h’ and complete sentence is speak in reply to these sentences. Interrogative words are as follows:

Who, whom, whose, where, why, what, when, which, how

Note: When ‘who’ or ‘what’ use in a present indefinite or past indefinite sentences as a subject, no helping verbs comes after them.

  1. Question mark is used in a sentence which starts from ‘W’ or ‘H’

i. Who knocks at the door?
ii. What made you laugh?
iii. Who taught you English?

  1. The question mark is used within parentheses to indicate that a date or other statement is doubtful.

i. He was born in 1975 (?) and died after ten years.
ii. They must have paid a lot of money fifty dollars (?) for that meal.
iii. King Monty ruled between 1015 (?) and 1030 A.D.
iv. The divers discovered twelve (?) bronze statues among the undersea ruins.
v. Some animals – a shunk? – is boring holes in the lawn at night.

  1. Question mark may follow separate questions within a single interrogative sentences.

i. Do you recall the time of the accident? the license numbers of the cars involved? the names of drivers? of the witnesses?
ii. Are you sure of his loyalty? his skill? his determination?

  1. Do not use a question mark at the end of an indirect question.

i. He asked me what I was doing? (Incorrect)
He asked me what I was doing. (Correct)
ii. I asked you whether you wanted another piece of cake. (Correct)
iii. He asked her if she would help him. (Correct)
iv. I wonder who wrote this song. (Correct)

  1. The question mark is used in polite requests.

i. Would you mind giving me your pen?
ii. Would you fetch the paper, Joe?
iii. Could you meet me in the evening?
iv. Would you please mind opening the window?
v. Could you accompany me to the shopping mall?

Exercise of Question Mark (?)

Can you come in the morning. (incorrect)
Can you come in the morning? (correct)
How will you pronounce this word. (incorrect)
How will you pronounce this word? (correct)
What is your name. (incorrect)
What is your name? (correct)
Have you listened. (incorrect)
Have you listened? (correct)
Will you buy these things. (incorrect)
Will you buy these things? (correct)
Will you come late. (incorrect)
Will you come late? (correct)
Have you done your homework. (incorrect)
Have you done your homework? (correct)
Do you know him. (incorrect)
Do you know him? (correct)
How old are you. (incorrect)
How old are you? (correct)
What is your age. (incorrect)
What is your age? (correct)

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