Question Marks

The Question Mark: It Raises Some Good Questions

“In all affairs, love, religion, politics, or business, it’s a healthy idea, now and then, to hang a question mark on things you have long taken for granted.” ~Bertrand Russell, philosopherQuestion marks are pretty simple. You should use a question mark at the end of a question like this:

When did our professor say that essay was due?

However, there is one situation involving question marks that seems to give people a lot of trouble. What about when you have a sentence that is part statement and part question? What do you do then? You have a couple of options, depending upon the situation. You might have a sentence like this:

The question I have is, how are we going to get out of here?

In this case, the statement before the question isn’t complete, so you can simply use a comma to separate the statement from the question.

Of course, the sample sentence is a bit awkward, so it might be preferable to rewrite the sentence. You could change the sentence so the first part, the statement part, is a complete sentence.  In this situation, you might have a sentence like the following:

One question remains: How are we going to get out of here?

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