You might have come across the phrase “my question is” before. It’s a useful way to open up a question and prepare the listener or reader to answer it. However, you might not be too familiar with the grammar rules around it, which is what this article will help with.
What Is The Proper Punctuation To Use After “My Question Is”?
The proper punctuation after “my question is” is either a colon or a comma. We need to make sure that we break it up and turn it into its own separate clause. Without doing this, it can be hard to determine the sentence’s meaning, making it difficult to understand.
Here’s what we mean:
- Incorrect: My question is what would you like to do this weekend?
So, while we use the phrase to open up the sentence, we don’t include any punctuation after it. This is incorrect, and it makes for a wordy sentence that’s difficult to interpret correctly.
Instead, you should pick from one of the following options:
- Correct: My question is: What would you like to do this weekend?
- Correct: My question is, what would you like to do this weekend?
The colon works well to separate the clause of “my question is” and the question. It allows us to turn the question into its own sentence, which a lot of writers like to do to keep everything easier to read.
The comma is the more likely variation, though, and it’s something that writers use to slightly break up the sentence. It allows us to have a short break between “my question is” and the question, which gives people time to answer it.
Is “My Question Is, Is…” Proper Grammar?
“My question is, is” is proper grammar. There is no reason that we cannot use “is” twice in the sentence when “is” ends the phrase and starts the question. Since “is” is an acceptable question starter (because it’s a verb), we can use it after the phrase.
Of course, this story would be much different if we didn’t punctuate the phrase “my question is.” In those cases, we’d be left with a double “if,” which can be even tricker for a reader to understand:
- Incorrect: My question is is this an acceptable question?
However, once we include the two punctuation options we’ve provided already, the double “is” no longer is a problem:
- Correct: My question is: Is this an acceptable question?
- Correct: My question is, is this an acceptable question?
Remember, once we include that punctuation, it allows for a short stop between the clauses. This stop is more than enough time for us to take a breath between the two “is’s,” which is ideal when we try to word our questions in this way.
Should I Place A Comma After “My Question Is”?
We’ve already explained everything you need to know about punctuation rules with “my question is.” While the comma isn’t the only option, it’s certainly the most popular one.
You should place a comma after “my question is” when you want to briefly introduce your question before asking it. It’s a good way to break up the flow of the sentence, which helps readers or listeners to prepare to answer you before they do.
It might help you to think about a question with and without the phrase, and we’ll explain why it might sometimes work:
- Can you help me with this?
- My question is, can you help me with this?
The first example is a valid question. However, it might allow for somebody to turn us down, or they might not be all that interested in providing the help we’ve asked for.
Including “my question is” is a great way to draw attention to the fact that you need help. After hearing that, the listener will be more inclined to listen to your request, and they’ll usually feel bad for turning you down.
Examples Of How To Use “My Question Is” In A Sentence
Some further examples will help you to understand the phrase and all of its variations. We’ll include as many options as we can to help you understand all there is to it.
- My question is, do you think you can find them in time?
- My question is this, how have you made it this far in life without understanding basic math?
- My question to you is, why do you hate me more than the rest of the children?
- My question is, have you got what it takes to stop the project before it ends up a disaster?
- My question is this, why were you there at the time of the incident, when you should have been at home?
- My question to you is, do you think you’re smarter than me?
- My question to you is, why do you think you can talk to your father like that?
“My question is” is a great way to introduce your question. It allows the reader or listener a time to pause and think about their answer before inevitably giving one.
Can I Use “My Question Is” In Formal Letters?
Some people wonder whether the phrase is acceptable in formal writing. Unfortunately, it’s not all that common to see, so your best bet is to avoid it.
“My question is” is not good in formal writing because we don’t need to draw attention to a question in this way. If we want someone to answer or acknowledge our questions, it’s much better to just write the question and assume they are reading the letter.
“My question is” within a formal letter sounds pretentious and insincere. It’s best left out of all formal cases.
5 Better Alternatives To “My Question Is”
So, if “my question is” isn’t the best formal version to use, maybe one of these alternatives will be a better way to introduce a question:
- I would like to ask
- If it’s okay with you, I would like to ask
- If you have the time to answer this
- I would like an answer
- I am asking if
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.