Question Mark (?) In the previous discussion, we cover how one can use full stop. In today’s write-up, we will see how to use a question mark (?).
The Question Mark: the Easiest of all Punctuations Marks
Question marks are the easiest of punctuation marks. It is used just like a full stop, but for interrogative sentences.
Used at the End of Questions
The question mark is used at the end of such a sentence that is a direct question. For instance,
What is the capital of Pakistan? What is the largest city of Pakistan based on population?
Question Mark and the Quotations
The question mark is also used to end a question if it is present in the direct quotation. For example,
“Can I borrow your pencil?” asked Ahmed “How many provinces are in Pakistan?” asked Ayesha.
However, question marks cannot be used in indirect quotations. This can be explained with the help of an example below:
Ahmed asked if he can borrow my pencil. Ayesha asked how many provinces are there in Pakistan.
Sometimes Represents Uncertainty
Furthermore, question marks when used in brackets represent uncertainty. If someone is unsure about something, then question marks within the parenthesis are used.
The ancient documents of the Indian subcontinent reveal the name of Shastri (?), depicting him as the leader of the Hindus.
The above example indicates that the writer is not sure about the authenticity of the name Shastri.
Mohammed Bin Qasim (?695?715) conquered Sindh in 700A.D
Here the question mark before the birth and death date indicates that the author is unsure about these dates. Thus, whenever you are writing something and forgets about the name of a personality or you becomes confuse regarding the dates, you can always use this punctuations marks (full stop) trick.
Summary of the Question Mark:
Question marks shall never be used after the indirect question.
Always use the question mark at the end of a direct question.
Questions marks when used in brackets indicate that something is doubtful.
In the next write-up, we will move our discussion forward to exclamation marks. Until then, stay tuned!