How should I go about placing the question mark in a question with a dash?

For example:

И где тогда та обещанная весёлая комапния, если Серёга ещё не пришёл, Лёха уже ушёл, а Витя фактически отсутствует – его действительно не поймать ни дома, ни на работе, ни в институте

The question should be about where the весёлая комапния is, which is the first clause in the sentence, but I am a bit reluctant to place the question mark in the end of this sentence as it may look then that the question is about whether it is possible to catch Витя, which is the second clause in the sentence, that is, the one following the dash ( – ).

(Please, don't give me suggestions on how to rephrase my question-example. I myself know how to do that, but I need to know the rules for this particular case. Imagine that this question is a part of transcription, in which you are only allowed to do your own punctuation, but you are not allowed to change or omit words, or change the word order. And, please, don't omit the dash)

3 Answers 3


In this sentence it is quite clear that the dash introduces an explanation of why Vitia is always absent.

So, if you put a question mark in the end of the whole sentence I wouldn't interpret it as a question about whether it is possible to catch Vitia.

In my opinion, the only solution here is to put a question mark at the end, and this question mark will refer to the question: "where весёлая компания is".


This are rhetorical question and also it has interrogative intonation here "И где тогда", so you must use at the end "?" or "!". But in this case I would prefer "!", to underline emotions and exclude the confusion in same time.


If the sense of whole sentence is questioning it doesn't matter if the last part is a statement or not, you should use question mark.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.