Back to the Basics: Are You Questioning Me?

blog question mark

Questions, questions, questions. We have one too many throughout life. Have you ever sat behind your keyboard staring at your manuscript or essay questioning when to press the key to insert the ‘question mark’? It’s important to know what the squiggly line and the period have to offer you because one simple symbol can mean a whole lot.

Although we did briefly mention this punctuation mark in passing. We’re now going to chat about it in a little more detail. Where does it goes, why does it goes there, and how do you make your text messages sound less like you’re questioning yourself?

  • Direct Questions: Like we talked about before, a direct question uses the question mark. An indirect question may raise wonder, but does not have a question mark to end it.
  • Direct Questions…WITHIN a sentence: Unlike the period, the question mark is not easy to omit. Within a sentence, the direct question uses the question mark. In these cases, the question mark takes place of the comma. This is really helpful to know for writing dialogue in a story.
  • Part of a title of work: Want to get really confused? Try and keep up with this one…

    When a title of work ends with a question mark, the comma comes back into play- especially if mentioned within a sentence. If you’re asking a question about the work, there’s no need for an extra question mark. What if the title appears at the end of a sentence? No need to add that period then.

  • Requests: Just remember, if you want your assistant to do something soon or immediately, don’t end your request with a question mark…DEMAND IT WITH A PERIOD!
  • Expressing uncertainty: In an editorial work, insert a question mark within parentheses and/or brackets to show your uncertainty about the information prior.

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