Here's the sentence for anyone who missed it:
"When a SEEMINGLY level-headed and intelligent person on this NG can't
make the distinction between a declarative statement and a question, I
wonder if there's any shred of hope of my posts EVER being understood
It WAS a declarative sentence. First, there came the introductory
subordinate clause. "When a SEEMINGLY level-headed and intelligent
person on this NG can't make the distinction between a declarative
statement and a question," has a subject (person), a verb phrase (can
make, with "not" as a modifier), and a direct object (distinction).
Then came the main clause. "I wonder if there's any shred of hope of
my posts EVER being understood accurately?" This, too, has a subject
(I) and a verb (wonder) and then a subordinate clause being used as the
direct object ("there's" is both subject and verb - "there" + "is").
But the clause is obviously declarative. It makes the statement "I
wonder". A question is NOT being asked, so the question mark should be
replaced with a period or an exclamation point, as your emotions
It's true: I have WAY too much time on my hands sometimes.
Dave - I was just having fun, but seriously - "I wonder" is actually an
indirect question, not requiring (or desiring) a question mark.
"Be careful not to put a question mark at the end of an indirect
The instructor asked the students what they were doing.
I asked my sister if she had a date.
I wonder if Cheney will run for vice president again.
I wonder whether Cheney will run again. "
such as "I wonder if Cheney..." One way is to say it with a level pitch
, making it a statement, and the other way is to use a rising inflection
to make it a question worthy of an answer by the listener(s).
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