Use a question mark to indicate a direct question, even if it is not worded in the normal form of a query. For example:
- When did she arrive?
- Where had he worked in the past?
- Can this problem be solved?
- Who asked; "When?"
- "Will you take the last flight out?" he asked.
Here are some additional points rules of usage:
- Do not use a period after a question mark.
- This evening's lecture is entitled "State Security or Civil Rights?"
- Do not use a question mark after a period, unless the period is used to punctuate an abbreviation.
- Does she hold a B.A. or a B.Sc.?
- Use a period at the end of a polite request, which is worded as a question, instead of a question mark.
- Will you please use the correct postage for that letter.
- Use a question mark at the end of a sentence, which is intended to be a question, but worded as a statement.
- They paid $10,000 for this wreck?
- Do not use a question mark to punctuate an indirect question.
- We always wondered whether the plan would really work.
- She asked when her order would be ready.
- Use question marks to punctuate the element of a series of questions that are not separated by numbers or letters, but have a common beginning.
- Can you collate the pages? Punch three holes in each? Insert them into binders? Leave the completed binders on my desk?
- Use only one question mark to punctuate a series of questions that have a common beginning and are separated by numbers or letters.
- Can you (1) collate the pages, (2) punch three holes in each, (3) insert them into binders, and (4) leave the completed binders on my desk?
- Use a question mark inside the brackets, dashes, parentheses, or quotation marks if it punctuates only the words that they enclose. Use a question mark outside of the brackets, dashes, parentheses, or quotation marks if it punctuates the complete sentence.
- He left on a business trip before the baby was born (was that ten years ago or eleven?), but we haven't heard from him since.
- Why did she mean when she described him as "a man of substance"?