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? may derive from Qo, with the Q written over the o, an abbreviation of Latin quaestio (question), placed at the end of a question to mark it as such.[1]

Punctuation markEdit


  1. Marks a preceding passage written in Latin script as a question.
  2. (comics) Used by itself to convey that a character is confused.
    Character #1: "I have no time to explain! Have you seen a Big Bad Wolf blowing down various houses?"
    Character #2: "?"
  3. For the reversed question mark used in some right-to-left languages (including Arabic and Persian), see ؟.



  1. A placeholder for an unknown word, phrase, text, or numerical value.
    • 2009, Terry Stickels, Math Puzzles and Brainteasers, Grades 3-5: Over 300 Puzzles that Teach Math and Problem-Solving Skills, John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, page 6:
      What is the next number in the sequence below?
      1    4    9    16    25    36     ? 
  2. (chess) In algebraic notation, marks a bad move.
  3. (programming) A wildcard for one character in query language.
  4. (programming) The ternary operator in some programming languages.
  5. (regular expressions) Detects zero or one occurences of the preceding element.
    The string colou?r matches both "color" and "colour".
  6. (networking) In a URL, begins a query string (a series of data formatted as field-value pairs).

Usage notesEdit


For quotations of use of this term, see Citations:?.

Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ Alexander Humez, 1987, A B C et cetera: the life & times of the Roman alphabet



? (plural ?s)

  1. (text messaging) A question.
    i hav a ? 4 u (I have a question for you)
  2. objects seen/shaped as the question mark
    a ? block (a question-mark block)


Punctuation markEdit

¿ ?

  1. Used in ¿ ?.
  2. (nonstandard) Marks a preceding passage as a question, without the starting ¿, as in English and other languages.
    Cómo estás? — How are you?

Usage notesEdit

As SMS messaging and other forms of electronic communication have become more common, some Spanish-speakers use only ? for questions and ! for exclamations, leaving out the initial typographical mark. This is considered non-standard usage.

See alsoEdit