1. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Question inside commas?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by OurJud, Aug 27, 2015.

    This is not an immediate problem, but one that often crops up and never fails to have me wondering.

    Take this sentence: I went to the supermarket yesterday, or should that be shopping mall, and bought a new coat.

    Now forgetting the fact that I could compose this differently and solve the problem that way, what do I do about the fact that the 'mid-thought' between the commas is a question and requires the appropriate punctuation mark? A question mark followed by a comma would be wrong, so what would I do if I absolutely insisted on using this sentence as it stands?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The grammar rule is, you don't put the question mark anywhere but at the end of a question. You don't need it for a question within a sentence.
     
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  3. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well that was far more straight forward than I imagined.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with @GingerCoffee, but will add one more level of complexity that you did not solicit and say that the question imbedded within the sentence is such a "loud" parenthetical interjection that I would have wirtten it with dashes (or m dashes or n dashes or whatever the hell they're called). Important to note that I am not proposing a rule, but only my personal choice.

    I went to the supermarket yesterday - or should that be shopping mall - and bought a new coat.
     
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