1. Hannah0kh

    Hannah0kh New Member

    Feb 19, 2010
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    Asking Multiple question in one sentence

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Hannah0kh, Feb 19, 2010.


    I am researching how to correctly write the following type of question:

    Do you want go to the beach? If so, have you remembered your swim suit?

    Surely you do not have to question marks in the sentence so is it:

    Do you want go to the beach; if so, have you remembered your swim suit?

    I get really uneasy with semi-colons I just never really know how to use them!

    Help :)
  2. writewizard

    writewizard New Member

    Dec 14, 2009
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    I'd like to go to the beach today, did you remember your swimsuit?
  3. Humour Whiffet

    Humour Whiffet Banned

    Sep 20, 2009
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    United Kingdom
    Welcome! There is already a thread about this, but you weren't to know. Have a look down the list and you'll spot it! :)
  4. ManhattanMss

    ManhattanMss New Member

    May 14, 2009
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    The semicolon isn't typically used to separate two questions, but to separate two statements that are parallel in some way and need connecting for some literary purpose. Your first example of two questions, each with its own question mark is both grammatical and more grammatically correct, in that you're asking two entirely separate questions.

    There are many ways to avoid the issue altogether and to make the point better and more naturally: e.g., I wonder if you want to go to the beach and whether you've remembered your swim suit. (period--this is not a question, but a statement that shows it is a question in my mind). Or Do you want to go to the beach and have you remembered your swim suit? (all in one single question). Typically in fiction and/or in dialogue, the object is to make the question conversationally reflective of the way we speak. Your first example that uses "if so" is not typically how we naturally address such things. You might do something like "Do you want to go to the beach? Oh, and did you remember to bring your swim suit?" Or separate it with a response in the middle:

    "Do you want to go to the beach? she said.
    "Sure," Alice replied as she unpacked her suitcase.
    "Did you remember to bring your swim suit?"

    In any case, if you're asking two (or several) questions separately, each should have its own question mark, or a conjunction (like "and"). "Are you here to see the concert and are you going to stay with friends?" or even "Do you want to go to the beach and, if so, did you remember to bring your swim suit?" (if your speaker is inclined to use "if so"--to me, that sounds awkward and unconversational).
  5. madhoca

    madhoca Contributor Contributor

    Dec 1, 2008
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    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    If you want it to be all in one sentence, you could do something like:

    "Perhaps you'd like to go to the beach--did you bring your swimsuit?"

    or, if you don't want direct speech:

    I wondered if she wanted to go to the beach, and whether or not she had her swimsuit.

    Remember that you must put a question mark after each and every question--check out the other thread, as Whiffet suggests.
  6. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    there's nothing wrong with that... it's the best way to ask two questions... i see no good reason for combining them, but if you wanted to, you could write:

    If you want to go to the beach today, do you have your swimsuit?

    of course you do, if it's a question...

    that's not correct use of a semicolon, imo... and if this is dialog [which it seems to be], none should be used, anyway... pauses in dialog are shown by an ellipsis, not a semicolon...

    there's a cure for that... DON'T use them!

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