Question marks (?) are used at the end of a direct question. They are also used to show doubt. Follow these rules for when to use a question mark:

  1. Use a question mark after a direct question or a direct quotation.
    • When a statement contains a question, end the statement with a question mark. Separate the statement from the question with a comma, dash, or colon.
      • Did you register the new software program?
      • The support technician asked, "Did you register the new software program?"
      • New employees attend an orientation–don’t they?
    • Do not use a question mark after an indirect question, an indirect quotation, or a polite request.
      • She asked where we keep our files.
      • He stated that he would be on time for all future meetings.
      • May I have the manual you borrowed last week.
  2. Use a question mark, in parentheses, to express doubt.
    • We plan to have a huge party on his August 9 (?) birthday.
  3. Use a question mark between parts of a short series of questions.
    • Should we hold the company picnic at the city park? on campus? at a campground?