Professional Style

“Guess what” and “I wonder”

July 2011
Spot the Error

Guess what I did yesterday? Nothing … absolutely nothing.

Even though guess what may sound like a question, it’s really not. It’s an imperative sentence that makes a request or command to guess. So there should not be a question mark at the end.

Another example of a misused question mark occurs frequently with I wonder.

I wonder if I should take an umbrella today?

The writer is stating that he wonders about something. And, as you know, a statement doesn’t end with a question mark; it ends with a period.

Period.

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