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Thread: How many question marks are needed in this example?

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  1. #4
    never mind the shorty angeliz2k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lalaloopsy View Post
    Hello!

    I've always been confused about the use of questions marks. If you're asking a bunch of questions in one sentence, do you use a single question mark at the end of sentence? Or a question mark after each question? Even now, I don't know if I'm asking this question correctly.

    Example:
    "After a full day's work, Tina's payment was a measly $6.45. She grunted and tossed into her bag. What the hell was she supposed to buy with that? A hairbrush? A donut?"

    OR
    "After a full day's work, Tina's payment was a measly $6.45. She grunted and tossed into her bag. What the hell was she supposed to buy with that, a hairbrush, a donut?"
    The first is correct.

    IS IT:

    "Where do you work and what is your role?"
    OR
    "Where do you work? And what's your role?"
    The first example needs a comma before "and" because there are two independent clauses there. Otherwise, either is fine, and it's a matter of emphasis. Separating the clauses by only a comma makes it sound more like it was said all in one breath, while separating them by a question mark makes the second question seem like a new, separate thought. This is subtle, but subtle things can make a difference.


    ONE LAST THING:
    When asking a question in the middle of a paragraph, is it okay to do this:

    "What time was it? I didn't even want to guess."

    OR

    Do you have to put the "I don't even want to guess" in a new paragraph? This is internal dialogue.

    Thanks for reading.
    There's no need for a new paragraph here. You could start a new paragraph for emphasis if you wanted, but you don't need to. (Starting a new paragraph would signal a change of subject/direction. You might start explaining why the narrator doesn't "even want to guess", for example.)
    Last edited by angeliz2k; 10-19-2020 at 04:39 PM.
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