kids encyclopedia robot

Question mark facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Question mark
Standard question mark

The question mark is a punctuation mark that is used at the end of a sentence when asking a question.

The symbol is thought to come from the Latin quæstio, meaning "question", which was shortened to Qo. The uppercase Q was written above the lowercase o, and this mark was turned into the symbol that we use today.

Another guess about where question mark comes from says that it comes from the 9th century, when it was a point followed by the curved part written slanted.

Some writers put a space between the end of their sentence and the question mark. This is thought to come from a French practice and is called French spacing. In French a space is always put before question marks, exclamation marks, colons, and semicolons. In English, however, using this space is thought of as bad form. The Oxford English Dictionary does not encourage it. Some English books do have these spaces, but are often a very thin space, which are not full spaces but an attempt to make the words easier to read.


In computing, the question mark character is represented by ASCII code 63, and is located at Unicode code-point U+003F. The full-width (double-byte) equivalent, ?, is located at Unicode code point U+FF1F.

Examples of the question mark being used

  • "What time is it?"
  • "How are you doing?"
  • "Why did that happen?"

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Signo de interrogación para niños

kids search engine
Question mark Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.