Listing questions in a sentence can be quite tricky if you don’t know the exact rules surrounding how to do it. This article will explore the best ways to list two questions in one sentence (or more). We’ll help you understand all styles, including APA and MLA styles.
The best ways to list questions in a sentence are to ask each question as its own sentence, list questions in quotation marks, and list questions descriptively after a colon. You can use these styles to help you understand how to list questions in an essay.
1. Ask Each Question as Its Own Sentence (MLA Style)
Asking each question as its own sentence is one of the best ways to introduce a set of questions. It gives you a chance to pause after each question while allowing them to feature in the same sentence. This is the most common style when writing under MLA guidelines.
You should use this when learning how to list questions after a colon. Place a colon just before starting the first question. You should also capitalize the first word of the first question before continuing with every question in the list.
Here are a few examples to show you how it works:
- I want to know a few things: What did you think of her? Would you like to see her again? Will you be interested in anyone else?
- She tried to ask me: Did I have fun? Will I come again? And what did I think of the music?
- I need to ask: What can I change for next time? How do I improve your experience? Will you give me another chance?
When following this style, you should not place punctuation after any of the question marks. Something like a semicolon after a question mark in a list will ruin the grammar of the sentence, making it much more difficult to figure out what you’re trying to say.
- Incorrect: Can you tell me: What did you do?; Why did you do it?; Why were you there?
As you can see, including too much punctuation makes it very difficult to read.
2. List Questions in Quotation Marks
If someone else has asked the questions, it’s possible to list them with quotation marks. Knowing how to list multiple questions in a sentence is easy when you can break them up with quotation marks.
You do not need to include question marks in the sentence when listing questions in this way. Instead, you may use commas after each question alongside quotation marks. This helps to split each question from the last.
Here are a few examples to help you with it:
- My mother always asks me, “what are you doing,” “where are you going,” “why are you being so foolish.”
- I tried to ask her, “what can I do better,” “when will I see you again,” “why have we not spoken about this before.”
- She needed to find some answers like, “where has he gone,” “when will he be back,” and “will he remember me.”
You do not need to end the sentence with a question mark, either. Since the question starts as a sentence (subject before verb), you may end the sentence with a period.
3. List Questions Descriptively After a Colon
A colon is a good example of how to introduce a question in a sentence. You may place a colon just before a question list to introduce multiple questions without needing question marks.
Each question can be part of the same sentence. As mentioned above, you do not need to end the sentence with a question mark. You can end it with a period because the sentence starts normally.
Here are some examples to help you with this form:
- I need to know: when will you be back, what time will you be leaving again, will you want any dinner.
- She asked for a few favours: could I help her out, will I be there for her, could I do her homework again.
- I asked: did you find the solution, and did you want any help. But he didn’t respond.
4. List Questions in Bulleted Points (APA Style)
This is the most common choice if you’re following APA Style rules. Writing bulleted (or numbered) lists is a great way to include multiple questions in the same sentence.
You should bullet point the questions to make them easier for readers to understand. Of course, this means that the sentence’s integrity will be compromised.
When using a bullet-point list, you remove the flow of the original sentence. While APA Style does allow this, you need to be careful including it in exams and essays.
Here are some examples to help you figure it out:
- What made you think of this?
- What will you do next?
- Where will you go?
- What is your answer?
- What do you need to know?
- Is there anything else?
- Why won’t she talk to me?
- Why does she not seem to care?
- What did I do wrong?
How to List Questions in a Sentence MLA Style
MLA Style encourages every question to be asked as its own sentence. When listing questions in the same sentence, you should include a question mark after each one to show that you are asking multiple questions.
The question marks act as punctuation within the sentence but still allow you to continue the flow of the original sentence.
You should also place a colon before starting the question list and capitalize the first word of every question.
Here’s an example to help you understand it:
- They wanted to know: Why did you do it? What made you say that? And how could you be so silly?
How to List Questions in a Sentence APA Style
APA Style has slightly different rules when listing questions. This time, knowing how to list questions in a paper is a little bit easier.
You can list questions in numbered points when following APA Style rules. You should always number the questions, leaving a space between the period after the number and the question itself.
APA Style questions look like this:
- What are you going to do next?
- How do you solve the problem?
- Can we move on?
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.