Features and examples of rhetorical questions

Often, in speaking and writing, as well as in the creation of artistic works, rhetorical questions are used, examples of which will be given below. Their purpose is to draw attention to the statement, to focus on it. The peculiarity of such questions - they do not need to be answered. Let's get acquainted closer with this method of expressiveness.

example of a rhetorical question


In the science of language, a rhetorical question is an interrogative sentence that does not need to be answered. It often happens that the answer is impossible. The purpose of this technique is diverse:

  • It allows you to focus the attention of the listener or reader on what is important for the author;
  • draws attention to the problem discussed in the text;
  • achieves special stylistic expressiveness.

These types of sentences give the work emotionality, expression, help express the author's feelings, cause empathy in the reader.

Special features

Let us give examples of rhetorical questions that will help identify their characteristic features:

  • “Who is to blame?” (Herzen).
  • “What to do?” (Chernyshevsky).
  • "What Russian does not like to drive fast?" (Gogol).
  • “How not to love native spaces?” (From a speech).

As we see, each sentence represents an interrogative construction. At the end of it, not a point, but a question mark is put, but the answer is either embedded in the question itself or is absent in principle.

So, Chernyshevsky, in his novel “What to do?”, Tried to find an answer on several hundred pages, but the question still remained open.

Another example is the work of Gogol “Which Russian does not like to drive fast?”. In this case, the answer is implied that every true Russian person likes to ride with the wind, rush at high speed.

rhetorical question examples in Russian

It is possible to note one more peculiarity of such constructions - they express the meaning, as well as the declarative sentence. Often they are used to express irony. We give examples from the speech:

  • "Well, who does that?"
  • "And who is this chatting with us?"
  • "Where is Africa?"
  • "And when will you finally take on the mind?".

These questions do not need to be answered, therefore the key feature of the rhetorical question is the opposition of form and content.The main purpose of such structures is the expression of a certain mood.

rhetorical questions life examples

Use in texts

Many classics in their works actively use rhetorical questions. Examples are as follows:

  • “O Volga !. . my cradle! Did anyone like you like me? ”(From Nekrasov’s poem).
  • "Guys! Isn’t Moscow for us? ”(From“ Borodino ”by Lermontov).
  • “Russia, where are you rushing to?” (Gogol, from “Dead Souls”).
  • “Was there a boy?” (From the work of Gorky “The Life of Klim Samgin”).

Many rhetorical questions have become popular expressions. For example:

  • “Who are the judges?” - this phrase from the comedy “Woe from Wit” by Griboyedov is often used in cases when the assessment of an object or phenomenon is given by people who are biased, who are no better than the one who is judged.
  • “To be or not to be?” - many ask Hamlet’s question if they are at a crossroads and have to make an important decision for themselves.

These are examples of rhetorical questions from the literature. Often, the masters of the word succeed in capturing their thoughts so capaciously in such a construction that it becomes relevant and relevant for many centuries.

rhetorical question examples from literature

In the domestic sense

Consider examples of rhetorical questions from life:

  • “Are you a fool or something?” Is an expression of insult.
  • “Will you start doing homework on time?” - an urge to action.
  • “Well, who are you after this?” - extreme disapproval, amazement, offense.
  • “Can you not see what you have done badly?” - emphasizes the fact that the person addressed to the question knows that he did not try.
  • “How long will we tolerate this outrage?” - a call for rebellion, rebellion.

Often people themselves do not realize that they use rhetorical questions in speech, examples of which are given below. A few more familiar situations:

  • “And when will we, finally, be raised a salary?” - the speaker complains about the low level of wages, but he does not appeal to anyone specifically.
  • “What could be more beautiful than fresh air and a bike ride?” - nothing is assumed. The design expressed admiration for the author.

example of a rhetorical question

  • “How can you not want to learn?” - astonishment, bewilderment, misunderstanding.
  • “And what does this person count on?” Is an expression of disapproval.
  • “How should we be?” - cry of despair.

As you can see, there are many examples of rhetorical questions in Russian.Each of them carries a certain emotional coloring, helps to more accurately express their emotions - admiration, amazement, condemnation, anger, etc.

Difference from simple questions

Consider how the analysis of the text to quickly distinguish such constructions from the usual interrogative sentences:

  • they are not specifically addressed to anyone;
  • imply a ready answer or the impossibility of such;
  • help to express the thoughts and feelings of the author;
  • often they have a protest.

Let us give an example of a rhetorical question and a simple interrogative sentence:

  • "Who are the judges?"
  • "And who will be the judge at this meeting?".

The first sentence is a rhetorical question, it is not addressed to any particular person, it is not necessary to answer it. In the context, he conveys the disdain of the hero of Chatsky and the author - Griboedov - to those people who are taken to judge, not being ideal themselves.

The second sentence is a simple question that can be asked to a specific person. Its author does not express any relationship, he just wanted to know the name of the judge.

The form

So that the rhetorical questions, examples of which were cited above, express the author’s emotional mood to the best degree, the word masters often dress them in a special form:

  • the proposal can be very succinct and brief (“What should be done?”, “Who is to blame?”);
  • pronoun interrogative words are used (“And who is it easy now?”, “Which girl will refuse a chic bouquet?”);
  • use interrogative particles ("Unless I can be not sure?", "Really someone doubted?").

Sometimes at the end of such constructions there is not an ordinary question mark, but an exclamation mark. We give an example from the story of A.S. Pushkin “The Stationmaster”: “Whoever did not curse the station supervisors, who did not scold them!” This rhetorical question ends with an exclamation mark, although in terms of the construction form, the sentence is clearly interrogative.

rhetorical question examples

The rhetorical questions, examples of which were given earlier, are actively used both in everyday communication and in artistic texts. They help to make the speech more expressive and convey the author's mood.

Related news

Features and examples of rhetorical questions image, picture, imagery

Features and examples of rhetorical questions 75

Features and examples of rhetorical questions 12

Features and examples of rhetorical questions 2

Features and examples of rhetorical questions 15

Features and examples of rhetorical questions 74

Features and examples of rhetorical questions 73

Features and examples of rhetorical questions 86

Features and examples of rhetorical questions 19

Features and examples of rhetorical questions 51

Features and examples of rhetorical questions 20