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What is the best way to write a question with a bloquequote? Where should the question mark be? There are three options depending on where the question mark is:

1) no question mark:
In Spanish, would it work to say:

Necesito trabajar en __.


2) question mark after block quote
In Spanish, would it work to say:

Necesito trabajar en __.

?

3) question mark before block quote
In Spanish, would it work to say?

Necesito trabajar en __.

6
  • I'm sorry I don't understand the question. Could you try explaining in some other way? Thanks!
    – Joze
    Aug 26, 2013 at 7:34
  • @Joze I asked which of the three ways of writing is the best way? 1. without a question mark 2. with a question mark after block quote 3. with a question mark before block quote
    – Theta30
    Aug 26, 2013 at 16:12
  • I'm sorry I still don't understand, maybe it's my english understanding bad. You want to write a question without a question mark?? Or are you asking if it is appropriate to ask a question on a quote without a question mark? I don't get the question...
    – Joze
    Aug 27, 2013 at 9:44
  • @Joze He is trying to ask a question with a quote in it. Where should he put the question mark, before or after the quote?
    – JoulSauron
    Sep 4, 2013 at 9:15
  • @JoulSauron Thanks now I get what he meant!! Better before!!
    – Joze
    Sep 4, 2013 at 14:18
  • @Joze In the sense of me asking a question or in the sense of me editing somebody's answer, which contains a question
    – Theta30
    Sep 7, 2013 at 18:44

2 Answers 2

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Consider how we would write it without the blockquote:

In Spanish, would it work to say "Necesito trabajar en__"?

If we substitute the blockquote for the normal quotation marks, we have option 2), which in my opinion looks ugly because of the dangling question mark. So the only option is to rephrase our question slightly:

In Spanish, would it work to say the following?

Necesito trabajar en__.

1

Actually, this is a problem that vexes me too. I go back and forth between option #1 and option #3. Option #2 is right out. (It's hard to tell what that dangling ? is for.) The primary advantage of #1 is that it makes a clear connection between your text and the quoted text. The advantage of #3 is that it makes clear that the sentence is a question and not an assertion.

¿I wonder if you could take advantage of Spanish's special punctuation to get the best of both worlds:

¿Hay una convención tipográfica en español para esto? No estoy seguro.

If there were, that would be what I'd use.

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  • is right out=not right?
    – Theta30
    Aug 28, 2013 at 3:38
  • 1
    @Theta30: Yes. Another way to say it: "Option #2 is out of the question and I wouldn't consider it." I picked it up from Monty Python: "5 is right out!" Aug 28, 2013 at 4:45
  • Funny how Spanish question mark placement is useful here
    – Theta30
    Sep 7, 2013 at 18:45

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