Services publics et Approvisionnement Canada
Symbole du gouvernement du Canada

Liens institutionnels


Avis important

L’outil The Canadian Style a été archivé et ne sera plus mis à jour jusqu’à son retrait définitif.

Pour obtenir notre contenu le plus à jour, veuillez consulter Writing Tips Plus, un outil combinant le contenu des outils Writing Tips et The Canadian Style. N’oubliez pas de modifier vos favoris!

Rechercher dans

7.10 Requests, indirect questions and other uses

Opinions differ as to whether a polite request of the type May I . . . , Would you . . . or Will you . . . requires the question mark. However, a question mark will look out of place after longer requests of this kind, especially if the sentence embodies straightforward affirmative elements:

  • May I escort you to your car?
  • Will you come this way, please.
  • Will you please go—before I have you thrown out.

Although the question mark is normally omitted after indirect questions, one may be added if the sentence has the force of a request:

  • I wonder if you could give me two dollars for the bus ride home?

Occasionally a question will incorporate an exclamatory element. The writer must then decide whether the interrogative or the exclamatory element is to be given greater prominence:

  • What hath God wrought!
  • How many times must I tell you?

A question mark in parentheses (italicized in square brackets in quoted material) is inserted after information about which the writer is uncertain:

  • The explorer William Kennedy, a strong advocate of the annexation of Rupert’s Land to Canada, was born at Cumberland House (?), Rupert’s Land, on April 26, 1814.

Indicate missing digits with a question mark:

  • Henri Potvin (1615–165?)

See Chapter 8 Quotations and Quotation Marks for the use of the question mark with quotation marks and other punctuation.