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Is the question mark optional? Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Saturday, May 25, 2019 12:17:49 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 5,457
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Could you send me the articles for editing?

Is the question mark optional?

Thanks.
sureshot
Posted: Saturday, May 25, 2019 1:02:21 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2015
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Koh Elaine wrote:
Could you send me the articles for editing?

Is the question mark optional?

Thanks.

__________________

We can use 'can' and 'could' to tell or ask people to do things. "Could" is more polite, more formal or less definite, and is often used for making suggestions. Such a situation does not obviate the requirement of a question mark.

It is usual to use a question mark in such sentences. The question mark is not required if the text is used as an indirect question (with inversion)and has another clause in the form of a statement preceding it.
thar
Posted: Saturday, May 25, 2019 1:36:17 AM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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Punctuation is the code signalling how to say the written word.
It helps you hear what the writer actually said.

So it is the question mark that makes it rise at the end in a questioning tone.

If you are asking it as a question, rising at the end, it needs a question mark to show that.

If you are giving an order, and there is no rising at the end, then there is no question mark.

Here it is far more likely to be a question, rising at the end, but it will depend on the person who 'says' it.
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Saturday, May 25, 2019 7:15:53 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

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Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
A question always requires a question mark.

An indirect question does not take a question mark because you aren't, at that moment, asking the question, but rather telling of the question you have.

In short, a question mark is always clearly required or not.

And, "upspeak" does NOT turn a statement into a question and should not include a question mark if written down. There may need to be a discussion of the upspeak vs. question -- they're not the same.
thar
Posted: Saturday, May 25, 2019 8:15:50 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 20,264
Neurons: 81,874
Be careful not to confuse indirect questions with indirect speech.

Indirect questions are when you are polite and ask "Could you?" when you might really mean "Do it in the next two minutes or you are fired!" But you say it politely. Angel

It is a question. The statement:
You could send me the article.
is inverted to form the question:
Could you send me the article?

Direct speech, a question:
"Could you send me the article?"
Reported speech, not a question.
She asked me if I could send her the article.
Or, more likely
She asked me to send her the article.
Or even
She told me to send her the article.

The indirectness is that it is not really asking 'could you?', it is requesting an action.
It is open to kids being literal.
Eg
Could you tell me the time?
Yes.
That is answering the question - yes, I could tell you the time. If I wanted to.

But that is not what they are asking. They are really asking
What is the time? They are just doing it politely.


This is a request couched in a question
Could you? Or not?

If it is an order, then 'or not' is not an option!



There is a fundamental difference between the two ideas of punctuation following rules and punctuation conveying information. If a question mark only applied to questions, and to all questions, then there is no need for the question mark in my opinion, is there? Because you know it is a question. To me, it is code that, along with the letters making the words, gives information about what the writer is actually saying.
I think
"Can you shut up!"
is an order, not a question, and does not end with a question mark if it isn't a question. It may have the structure of a question, but when you shout it at someone, it is not a question.

eg
"Hello."
is a greeting
"Hello?"
is anybody there
"Hello!"
Pleased to see you, from across the street
"Hello..."
tailing off, not sure I am happy to see you.
Koh Elaine
Posted: Saturday, May 25, 2019 4:15:20 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 5,457
Neurons: 22,607
Thanks to all of you.
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