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  • *"Ralph"Ralph knows where Linda is?" -- (declarative question)
  • *"Ralph knows where Linda is?" -- (declarative question)
  • "Ralph knows where Linda is?" -- (declarative question)
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where the writer wants the sentence read in a manner as though the speaker is unsure of Ralph actually knowing where Linda is -- that is, the speaker wants to hear confirmation that Ralph actually does know that info. If the sentence was spoken out loud, then its intonation would end with a rising pitch, in a way that would be similar to the way that a typical question, one that had a similar structure to this, would sound as it ends.

where the writer wants the sentence read in a manner as though the speaker is unsure of Ralph actually knowing where Linda is -- that is, the speaker wants to hear confirmation that Ralph actually does know that info. If the sentence was spoken out loud, then its intonation would end with a rising pitch, in a way that would be similar to the way that a typical question would sound as it ends.

where the writer wants the sentence read in a manner as though the speaker is unsure of Ralph actually knowing where Linda is -- that is, the speaker wants to hear confirmation that Ralph actually does know that info. If the sentence was spoken out loud, then its intonation would end with a rising pitch, in a way that would be similar to the way that a typical question, one that had a similar structure to this, would sound as it ends.

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As you can see from the last two examples, although they both have the identical embedded questions, only the one with the interrogative main clause also has the question mark at the end. So, that means that the question mark is due to the interrogative main clause -- for your specific original examples. (Though

Though, note again, that in the real world (and in novels and in print), you will probably see counterexamples.) For instance, the declarative clause version could be punctuated with a question mark when it is asked like a question:

  • *"Ralph knows where Linda is?" -- (declarative question)

where the writer wants the sentence read in a manner as though the speaker is unsure of Ralph actually knowing where Linda is -- that is, the speaker wants to hear confirmation that Ralph actually does know that info. If the sentence was spoken out loud, then its intonation would end with a rising pitch, in a way that would be similar to the way that a typical question would sound as it ends.

As you can see from the last two examples, although they both have the identical embedded questions, only the one with the interrogative main clause also has the question mark at the end. So, that means that the question mark is due to the interrogative main clause -- for your specific original examples. (Though, note again, that in the real world, you will probably see counterexamples.)

As you can see from the last two examples, although they both have the identical embedded questions, only the one with the interrogative main clause also has the question mark at the end. So, that means that the question mark is due to the interrogative main clause -- for your specific original examples.

Though, note again, that in the real world (and in novels and in print), you will probably see counterexamples. For instance, the declarative clause version could be punctuated with a question mark when it is asked like a question:

  • *"Ralph knows where Linda is?" -- (declarative question)

where the writer wants the sentence read in a manner as though the speaker is unsure of Ralph actually knowing where Linda is -- that is, the speaker wants to hear confirmation that Ralph actually does know that info. If the sentence was spoken out loud, then its intonation would end with a rising pitch, in a way that would be similar to the way that a typical question would sound as it ends.

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