Punctuation : Question Mark

Question Mark ( ? ) is mainly used to indicate a direct question.


• Are you reading this book?

• Have you completed your exercises?

• What is your name?

• What is your native?

• Are you ready?

• Why is the train coming late?

It can also be used in a sentence that ends with a question.


• You are involved in crime too, aren’t you?

It is sometimes also used when a question is worded like a statement.


• I wonder if it’s worth calling him?

In instances where there is doubt or uncertainty about a name, date or word,it is used to indicate this.


• Mullah Nasruddin (? 1208-1284) was one of the world’s most loved tricksters.

The Question mark, preceding the year of birth indicates that Mullah Nasruddin’s year of birth is uncertain.

And although it may seem like an error, a series of questions that are not complete should have this mark after each fragment.


• Can you believe that he is an inveterate liar? Or that he is not working? Or that he had never taken up a job in the first place? Or that he never ever has any money?

However, question marks should not be used in few situations where it may seem that the use is required. The exceptions include indirect questions, where the question is reported rather than directly expressed.


• He inquired what time it was.

Rhetorical questions (a question asked for effect or to make a statement rather than to elicit information) also may not require this Mark.

• Why ducks sleep on one leg.

• How the tiger got its stripes.

Rhetorical questions do not require this Mark since they are simply meant for effect and do not call for an answer.

From Question Mark to Punctuation Index