Rhetorical Question

What Is a Rhetorical Question? (with Examples)

A rhetorical question is a question posed for effect. It is not asked to elicit an answer. A rhetorical question is most often asked to make a point or to introduce a new idea.

A rhetorical question is a good way to encourage your audience to start thinking about an issue. It is also a good way to present an idea that might be challenged if it were presented as a statement.

Rhetorical questions are a form of figurative language (i.e., unusual or imaginative word constructions).

Examples of Rhetorical Questions

Below are some examples of rhetorical questions, each with a reason for its use.

A rhetorical question used to make a positive point: A rhetorical question used to make a negative point: A rhetorical question used to introduce a topic: A rhetorical question used to introduce an idea does not have to be a title. It could equally be a standard sentence in the middle of a paragraph. For example: A rhetorical question used as a soft statement:
NOT EVERYONE EXPECTS A QUESTION MARK TO END A RHETORICAL QUESTION

A rhetorical question is a cross between a question (an interrogative sentence) and a statement (a declarative sentence).

We judge that the overwhelming majortiy of your readers would expect a question mark at the end of a rhetorical question, but some might not. They consider the statement aspect of the question to override the need for a question mark. Omitting the question mark is not a popular convention, but be aware that some allow it.


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See Also

What is figurative language? What is an interrogative sentence? What is a declarative sentence? Glossary of grammatical terms