What should be the punctuation at the end? Should it be a question mark or a full stop? Please explain.

Have you ever got involved so much in a book that you could hear their voices in your head; you could imagine the whole scene in front of your eyes and it feels magical

  • Your "punctuation error" is just that you've used a semicolon instead of a question mark at the end of the actual question being asked. May 21, 2018 at 13:45
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    ...also note that the pairing could imagine + feels magical is at the very least an "awkward" clash of tenses. I suggest you use either could + felt or can + feels. May 21, 2018 at 13:48
  • Also another punctuation error towards the end is that you put two independent clauses together with an and but no comma; it is a noun and marks the start of a new independent clause.
    – Sean
    May 21, 2018 at 13:50
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    I'd stay away from 'fancy' punctuation like semicolons until you have mastered more basic things like tense agreement.
    – EllieK
    May 21, 2018 at 14:23
  • Thanks very much @FumbleFingers for the reply. Wouldn't it be a case of comma splice, if I use a comma instead of a semi colon to join two independent sentences?
    – Shivam
    May 21, 2018 at 16:33

1 Answer 1


How about a comma. If you are uncertain, uncomplicate your sentence structure and put a question mark at the end of your question. Even then it's still a bit awkward.

"Were you ever so involved in a book that you could hear the voices in your head, imagining the whole magical scene in front of your eyes?"

Or even better just compound it. Smooth....

"Were you ever so involved in a book that you could hear the voices in your head and imagine the whole magical scene in front of your eyes?"

  • Thank you very much @Elliek. I get these sentences, but can't we use a semi colon and start the next independent with "you could imagine"...?
    – Shivam
    May 21, 2018 at 16:42
  • @Shivam It doesn’t make much sense to use a semicolon there because you are using the same subject and setting for both clauses; it works better to use @EllieK’s method
    – Sean
    May 21, 2018 at 16:53
  • Thanks very much Sean. Could you explain what if we have to two independent clauses and we join them with a coordinating conjunction, where the first one is an assertive sentence and the second one is an interrogative sentence, then what would be the final punctuation?
    – Shivam
    May 21, 2018 at 17:27
  • My takeaway is that to use question point if the main clause is a question, no matter how long the subordinate is.
    – Gqqnbig
    Jan 5, 2023 at 5:01

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