Which one of the three sentences is correct regarding the place of "!" and capitalizing "because"?

  1. Could you please explain to me the course enrolment process? Because it is a bit unclear for me.

  2. Could you please explain to me the course enrolment process, because it is a bit unclear for me?

  3. Could you please explain to me the course enrolment process? because it is a bit unclear for me.

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    A question mark always goes at the end of a sentence. 1 and 2 are OK, the third is not. – Michael Harvey Jun 5 '20 at 7:16
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    Regarding (2) - some people would frown on starting a sentence with 'Because'. – Michael Harvey Jun 5 '20 at 10:01
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    In informal writing, you can have question marks in the middle of sentences. In formal English, (1) is ruled out because the second sentence doesn't contain a main clause, (3) is ruled out because the question mark doesn't end a sentence, so you're left with (2). – Peter Shor Jun 5 '20 at 10:44
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    @PeterShor I wouldn't say a question mark in the middle of a sentence is ever OK (unless we count chatspeak, but there grammar and spelling go out of the window anyway), but 1) is fine in informal speech/writing (while being two sentences). – Maciej Stachowski Jul 29 '20 at 14:07

The first one seems wrong not just grammatically but also from the implied meaning. Even if you were to use a sentence beginning with 'Because', using it right after a question indirectly implies that it is related to the answer. But here, you intend to convey part of your question through that clause.
The third one is wrong since the question mark does not end the sentence as @Peter_Shor has commented. In another sense, it is a less punctuated version of the first one as well. This leaves you with the second, which seems about right.

Tip: The only times you'd see a question mark before the end of a sentence is when there is a quotation in the sentence or when the sentence is a question-exclamation; eg:

"Why did he do it?" asked the teacher.

Isn't it shocking to learn about the incident?!

  • 1
    Are you sure about the first one? Because it seems just fine to me. – Maciej Stachowski Jul 29 '20 at 14:06
  • @MaciejStachowski Grammatically it is wrong. If you say that, you can make it feel right but, in the process, you shift to the second sentence – Aaron John Sabu Jul 29 '20 at 14:12
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    I'd argue otherwise. Starting a sentence with a conjunction is not an error, and it's especially common in my experience for because - you ask a question ("Are you sure?"), and then you clarify it in a separate sentence ("Because I think...") – Maciej Stachowski Jul 29 '20 at 14:18
  • @MaciejStachowski starting with a conjunction may not be wrong but here it is. That is because the conjunction is not used to answer the question but to supplement the question – Aaron John Sabu Jul 29 '20 at 14:21
  • I disagree. Introducing a sentence split in this way for emphasis is extremely common, and I don't think it's right to call it "grammatically wrong". "Informal", perhaps, but even in formal text I wouldn't bat an eye if someone wrote "Are you sure?/Could you clarify? Because..." – Maciej Stachowski Jul 29 '20 at 14:40

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