Punctuation is the basic element of English grammar and without it a sentence is not only incomplete but also insensible. There are various marks of punctuation that are used in sentences to give them more meaning and make it easier for the reader to understand. If we omit these punctuation marks from a sentence we will be left hanging. Also, without a punctuation mark a sentence can have various meanings and the reader might assume the meaning the writer is not conveying.
Today I will talk about one commonly used punctuation mark that is question mark.
The question mark is denoted by the symbol ?
A question mark is used at the end of a sentence that has an inquiring nature. It is commonly used for asking direct questions.
How are you doing?
Notice that the symbol denoting question mark is used at the end of a direct question.
Question mark is also used for questions that are hidden in the text.
We can stay here for the night, can’t we?
The above question is neither a direct question nor an indirect question but a question within a sentence and it requires a question mark.
A question mark is not used after the sentence that asks an indirect question.
The barber asked her if she wants her hair short.
The above sentence is an example of an indirect question and it does not require a question mark but a period at the end.
Also, if an instruction is given in the form of a question in a sentence, question mark is not employed.
Would everyone standing please sit down.
Notice that the above question needs a period at the end and not a question mark because an instruction is given.
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