What about…? How about…?

Margie Wakeman Wells The Question Mark Leave a Comment

“What about…?” and “How about…?” are idiomatic expressions that are meant to ask a question. It is true that they are not grammatically complete sentences in that they do not have a verb. However, idioms are unique unto themselves, and these two indicate questions and must stand alone with a question mark. If there is a question after this expression, …

“My Question Is…”

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma, The Question Mark Leave a Comment

This construction always causes consternation and no end of disagreement. This is my understanding of the way English grammar works. It is never correct to use a single separating comma between the verb and the predicate nominative. Surely no one wants a comma in the following examples. …My name is Margie. …Her response is that she was not home. …My …

Put the Question Mark Where the Question Is First Asked

Margie Wakeman Wells The Question Mark 2 Comments

It seems as if I just addressed this, but I looked back and don’t see it. The only way to consistently punctuate questions is to follow this rule: Put the question mark where the question is first asked; where, if the attorney had just stopped and waited, s/he could have gotten an answer. …What was she wearing? Did you notice? …

Quotes

Margie Wakeman Wells The Question Mark, The Quotation Mark, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Periods and commas go inside quotes without exception; colons and semicolons go outside quotes without exception. Question marks go inside or outside quotes depending on where the question is being asked: If there is a question inside the quotes, the question mark goes inside; if there is no question inside the quotes but there is one outside, the question mark …

“Do You Know What I Mean?” and Other Nonquestions

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma, The Question Mark Leave a Comment

When someone has a language “glitch” and uses a word or phrase over and over, that word or phrase is surrounded by commas. …He was, like, on the, you know, edge that day. …The company, like, you know, did not really have, like, a policy, you know, on that. When this type of element is normally a question but is …