We were also innocent people, but who helped us?

What is wrong with the above sentence? Can't I put a question and a sentence in the same sentence. My grammar checking software throws following error:

This clause may not be clearly phrased as a question, despite the use of a question mark. Consider putting the auxiliary verb first, or using a question tag.

  • 9
    Your grammar checking software is illiterate. Pay it no heed. Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 20:21
  • 1
    At least the grammar checker used may instead of is ;^)
    – J.R.
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 1:49

1 Answer 1


To formalize what StoneyB said, computerized grammar checkers are only meant as guides because they don't know context, they only know rules. You really need a human editor or a place like this to figure out if you are writing / speaking something correctly.

In this case, your sentence is perfectly legit. What you are doing is asking a rhetorical question, because you, the author, are not expecting an answer to your question. Instead you are using your question to make a point.

Actually, they just added a canonical post about this very subject!

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .