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Rhetorical questions can also be used to create drama. Rhetorical questions are used for dramatic effect or to make a point because these questions are ones that have obvious and clear answers. The person asking the rhetorical question is not looking for the listener to respond because both individuals clearly know the obvious answer to the question being asked.
You might hear rhetorical questions being used when someone cannot believe something or thinks something is silly. For instance, imagine a mother telling her son not to eat a cake she made for his birthday party that will take place the next day. She leaves the kitchen for a moment, and when she comes back she finds a large piece of the cake missing. She finds her son eating a piece of his birthday cake. In anger or disbelief, the mother might say to her son, “Are you kidding me?” The mother does not expect the child to respond. Instead, the mother is making a point of her anger and disbelief. She stressing how angry she is.
Here are common rhetorical questions
-Do pigs fly?
-Do birds fly?
-Are you kidding me?
-Does it look like I care?
-Are you crazy?
Rhetorical questions can be used at the beginning of a professional speech to get the audience thinking. In these speeches, the speaker does not expect the audience to respond. These opening rhetorical questions can try to make the audience feel a specific emotion, think about a particular question, or stress a point. For instance, a health professional might be talking about the importance of exercise. At the beginning of her speech, the health professional might ask, “How many days each week do you exercise at least thirty minutes?” The audience is not expected to answer. Rather, the audience is being asked in order to prepare their minds for the topic of the speech. You can ask surprising questions that you do not expect the audience to answer by adding a tag, “Did you know?” For instance, someone giving a speech about moths might ask, “Did you know that moths help pollinate some flowers?”
You could use a rhetorical question in place of a strong yes or no answer. For instance, if someone asked you to eat fifty donuts, then you might say, “Why on earth would I eat fifty donuts?” You are not asking the person to respond; instead, your rhetorical question stresses how much you will not eat fifty donuts. The same goes for a “yes” answer. If someone asks you if you would like a cupcake, then you may answer, “Do birds fly?” Birds do indeed fly, but you do not expect someone to answer that question. Instead, you are stressing your yes answer.
You should remember that a rhetorical question does not seek to gain or obtain information. The answer is already known; therefore, if you are asking a question to get an answer, then this question will never be a rhetorical question.
Rhetorical Question Worksheets
This bundle contains 5 ready-to-use Rhetorical Question worksheets that are perfect to test student knowledge and understanding of A rhetorical question which is a question you ask where you do not expect the answer, and you are rather asking to make a point.
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