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Rhetorical questions meaning and examples in detail

Rhetorical questions

The questions are formulated with the aim of questioning another person and that this gives us the answer to the information we are looking for . It arises from a doubt of its own that wants to be satisfied by the message that our interlocutor indicates. The questions can be many, as many as information you want to know: Rhetorical questions meaning and examples

  • What time is it?
  • What is there to eat?
  • Could you tell me where to get to the Tourist office?
  • Where are my keys?

But there are other types of questions that do not wait for an answer , this is the case of rhetorical questions. These are those whose objective is not to show a doubt and question the receiver of the same for an explanation or response to the matter raised. Its purpose is none other than to show more emphasis on the question or to affirm a fact through said question.

The rhetorical question is also known as an erothema or rhetorical interrogation and is a literary figure. It does not look for an answer since it is implicit in the way in which the question in question has been formulated . That is, a point of view or an idea is implied that makes the question work as a suggestion, a statement, or simply highlights the emphasis of the question.

Rhetorical questions are usually used in argumentative texts simulating a dialogue between sender and receiver. In these texts, in particular, the persuasion of the receiver is sought to change his point of view or reflect.

When are rhetorical questions used?

In the previous section we have already pointed out some functionalities of rhetorical questions, but they have many more uses. Although it is a literary figure, we usually use it more than we think in our day to day, whether in written or spoken language. Thus, rhetorical questions are used in:

  • Closing an oral speech : to end an oral speech, a rhetorical question can be used, so that a conclusion is raised to it. Through it, the listener’s reflection is invited, awakening doubts and concerns. Rhetorical questions meaning and examples
  • Critical comment : irony is one of the main uses of rhetorical questions as it can be used to show certain statements that may be unpleasant in a more cosmetic way.
  • When you want to scold someone : in colloquial language, this use is very common since rhetorical questions are very frequent when we want to scold someone or want to pose a challenge.
  • An argumentation : it is not intended that the interlocutor thinks of an answer to the question posed by the issuer, but rather that it generates an argument that serves to support what the speech is trying to convey. 

Examples of rhetorical questions

We have already seen what rhetorical questions are and what uses they have in language. As you have seen, despite the fact that it is a literary figure mostly used in argumentative speeches, the truth is that it can be used in more situations than you thought. Surely without realizing it you have formulated, or have been formulated some of them. Here are some examples of rhetorical questions to help you better understand what rhetorical questions are and how they are used:

  • How long do I have to wait for you to pick up your toys?
  • Where has your illusion and will to live?
  • What Am I doing with my life?
  • At what point did you lose your passion for your work?
  • Do I need to say what I think?
  • How did I not pay the last bill?
  • Why does everything bad always happen to the neediest people?
  • Do you think I’m stupid?
  • How many times do I have to tell you not to go with those people?
  • Who is going to believe you after what you did to your family?
  • How could you do that to your best friend?
  • Can you shut up for a moment?
  • Could someone explain to me what all the laughter comes to?
  • Who would not dream of a trip like the one he has given for his birthday?
  • Shouldn’t we help those in need?
  • Who is going to put up with that character?
  • When will our bad luck end?
  • How long will we have to wait for the landlord to repair our hot water?
  • Do you call this justice? Rhetorical questions meaning and examples
  • What are you doing with your life?
  • Is it really convenient for you to continue like this?

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