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Character ? U+003F, ?
Block Basic Latin
> [U+003E] [U+0040] @



? may derive from Qo, with the Q written over the o, an abbreviation of Latin quaestio ‎(question), placed at the end of a question to mark it as such.[1]

Punctuation mark[edit]


  1. Marks a preceding passage written in Latin script as a question.
    • 2003, J. K. Rowling, Lya Wyler, Harry Potter e a Ordem da Fênix, Rocco, page 46:
      Olho-Tonto, você sabe que isso é nojento, não sabe?
      Mad-Eye, you know that this is disgusting, don't you?
  2. (comics) Used by itself to convey that a character is confused.
    Character #1: "I have no time to explain! Have you seen a Big Bad Wolf blowing down various houses?"
    Character #2: "?"



  1. Indicates an unknown word, phrase, text or an unknown numerical value.
    • 2009, Terry Stickels, Math Puzzles and Brainteasers, Grades 3-5: Over 300 Puzzles that Teach Math and Problem-Solving Skills, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 9780470564677, page 6:
      What is the next number in the sequence below?
      1    4    9    16    25    36     ? 
  2. (chess) In algebraic notation, marks a bad move.
  3. (programming)
    1. A wildcard for one character in query language.
    2. The ternary operator in some programming languages.
    3. Zero-or-one modifier for detecting characters or groups in regular expressions.
  4. (networking) In a URL, begins a query string (a series of data formatted as field-value pairs).

Usage notes[edit]


For usage examples of this term, see Citations:?.

Derived terms[edit]

  • (small form variant)
  • (?)

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Alexander Humez, 1987, A B C et cetera: the life & times of the Roman alphabet



? ‎(plural ?s)

  1. (text messaging) A question.
    i hav a ? 4 u (I have a question for you)
  2. objects seen/shaped as the question mark
    a ? block (a question-mark block)


Punctuation mark[edit]

¿ ?

  1. Used in ¿ ?.
  2. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) (nonstandard) Marks a preceding passage as a question, without the starting ¿, as in English and other languages.
    Cómo estás? — How are you?

See also[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

As SMS messaging and other forms of electronic communication have become more common, some Spanish-speakers use only ? for questions and ! for exclamations, leaving out the initial typographical mark. This is considered non-standard usage.