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What Is an Interrogative Sentence? (with Examples)

What Is an Interrogative Sentence? (with Examples)

An interrogative sentence is one that asks a direct question and always ends in a question mark.

The term interrogative sentence is another name for a question.

Examples of Interrogative Sentences

Here are some examples of interrogative sentences:
  • Has anyone seen my torch?
  • What's the capital of Peru?
  • Shall we ask Simon or Jonesy?

Beware Sentences with Indirect Questions

A statement with an indirect question is a declarative sentence and not an interrogative sentence. For example:
  • I wonder if I'll ever find my torch.
  • Sarah asked whether anybody had seen her torch.
These are declarative sentences. They are statements not questions.

An indirect question can form part of an interrogative sentence. For example:
  • Can you tell me what material she likes?
  • (Direct-question version: What material does she like?)
  • Could you fetch me when the alarm beeps?
  • (Direct-question version: When will the alarm beep?)
  • Did she ask whether I found my torch?
  • (Direct-question version: Did I find my torch?)

Types of Question

There are three main types of question:
  • Yes/No Questions.

    Example: Is it raining?
  • (The answer to a yes/no question will be yes or no.)
    (Answer to this question: No.)
  • "Question Word" Questions.

    Example: Why are you bored?
  • (The answer to a "question word" question will be information.)
    (Answer: I've seen this film before.)
  • Choice Questions.

    Example: Do you want salsa dip or cheese dip?
  • (The answer to a choice question will be in the question.)
    (Answer: salsa dip)
Read more about forming direct questions.

Other Sentence Types

Here are some examples of other sentence types:

Imperative Sentence
An imperative sentence is a command or a polite request. It ends with an exclamation mark (!) or a full stop / period. For example:
  • Get out!
  • Please depart when the doors open.
Declarative Sentence
A declarative sentence states a fact or an argument and ends with a
full stop () / period (). For example:
  • Lima is the capital of Peru.
Exclamatory Sentence
An exclamatory sentence expresses excitement or emotion. It ends with an exclamation mark (!). For example:
  • This is ridiculous!
  • I love it!

Do Not Use a Question Mark for a Statement with an Indirect Question

A statement with an indirect question is not an interrogative sentence (i.e., it's not a question). Therefore, do not end it with a question mark. For example:
  • I need to know if it's finished?
Read more about indirect questions.
Interactive Test