Friday, June 9, 2017

The Student’s Guide to Punctuation: Question Mark

As an IELTS test taker, it is crucial that you know how to create compelling and grammatically correct compositions. You should know how to structure your essays accurately, how to transition from one idea to another seamlessly, and - most especially - how to end your sentences appropriately.

ielts writing

Exceptional training facilities like the IELTS Review Center in Makati offer extensive study programs that cover the essentials of the high-stakes exam. From in-depth lectures about the test types to on-point strategies on how to tackle the most difficult parts of the assessment, IELTS review center coaches have it all covered. Aside from their exhaustive exploration of the various portions of the evaluation, another thing that sets apart IELTS review center courses is their attention to the little - and often overlooked - aspects of the language.

Punctuation is one such aspect. It is one of those subjects that were drilled into your head when you were an elementary student (and repeatedly discussed during the formative years of your school-based English language development), you probably won't even consider including punctuation usage into your review list. Do not make this mistake.

Many test takers commit amateur punctuation-based mistakes because they only have the basics of application in their heads. To combat this issue, the IELTS Review Center in Makati teachers revisit the rules for reference marks early on in their lectures.

The Question Mark: Sentence Structures, Quotations, and Parenthetic Expressions

As its name implies, question marks are used to cap off sentences that are meant to pose a query or question. Most - but not all interrogative sentences - start off with who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Examples:
Who are you?
What do you do for a living?
When did you get here?
Where did you buy that book?
Why are you doing this?
How is this made?
It is important to keep in mind that not all questions begin with the words mentioned above. Interrogative sentences can also be delivered as declarative, imperative, and - sometimes, even as an - exclamatory sentence (these are called the interrobang punctuation)
Examples:
The office is closed on Tuesdays? I didn't know that.
Can you hand me that piece of paper? The one on top of my desk.
We do not have enough ink?! Say what?!
Another reason test takers commit mistakes when using this punctuation is that sentence structures tend to get tricky when other reference marks are applied close to the question mark.
•    In sentences with quotations, if the question mark applies only to the statement inside the quotation marks, place it before the closing punctuation.

Wrong: "What do you want to order"? she asked.
Right: "What do you want to order?" she asked.

•    In sentences with quotations, if the question mark applies to the entire sentence instead of just the statement within the quotation marks, place it at the end.

Wrong: Have you ever heard of the expression "three sheets to the wind?"
Right: Have you ever heard of the expression "three sheets to the wind"?

•    In sentences with parenthetic expressions, like the rule applied in quotations, if the question mark applies only to the statement enclosed by the parenthesis, place is before the closing parenthesis.

Wrong: I remember placing the keys on the table (or was it the drawer)? before I left.
Right: I remember placing the keys on the table (or was it the drawer?) before I left.

•    In sentences with parenthetic expressions, like the rule applied in quotations, if the question mark applies to the entire sentence, place it at the end.

Wrong: Do you think they can finish their project before the deadline (May 25?)
Right: Do you think they can finish their project before the deadline (May 25)?
Incorporate these punctuation rules into your IELTS review routines. Do exercises that would require you to create various interrogative sentences. Bear in mind that the principles mentioned above are only some of the regulations that question mark follow. Enroll in an IELTS review center to find out more!


REFERENCES:
  • “Question Mark.” Grammarly. Accessed May 16, 2017. https://www.grammarly.com/blog/question-mark/
  • “Question Marks.” Grammar Book. Accessed May 16, 2017. http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/qMarks.asp
  • “Question Mark Definition, Punctuation and Examples.” Ginger Software. Accessed May 16, 2017. http://www.gingersoftware.com/content/grammar-rules/question-mark/


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