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When is a Question Not a Question?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:42 pm
by oursilverstrands
Jan, I sometimes get confused as to whether or not a sentence I've written requires a question mark. The following sounds more like a statement, but is it a question?

"I was wondering if you've been to this place before, because I wanted to know if they have Wi-Fi.


Jan

Re: When is a Question Not a Question?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 4:43 pm
by glorybee
lish1936 wrote:Jan, I sometimes get confused as to whether or not a sentence I've written requires a question mark. The following sounds more like a statement, but is it a question?

"I was wondering if you've been to this place before, because I wanted to know if they have Wi-Fi.


What a great question! I see this all the time when I'm editing, and it almost always is some construction featuring the word 'wonder.'

Even though there's an uncertainty in the mind of the speaker, this is not a question. Your instincts were right. This is a statement, and you'd put a period at the end.

A possible alternate construction, if you wanted it to be a question:

I was wondering--have you been to this place before? Because I wanted to know if they have wifi.

A question really needs to have one of those words that signals a question ('have,' in the above example, but there are many others: do, is, what...there's quite a list, actually).

Re: When is a Question Not a Question?

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:26 pm
by oursilverstrands
Jan wrote:A question really needs to have one of those words that signals a question ('have,' in the above example, but there are many others: do, is, what...there's quite a list, actually).


Thanks, Jan, for the answer and the rationale behind it. :D

Lillian