Question and a sentence in the same sentence

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We were also innocent people, but who helped us?

What is wrong with the above sentence? Can't I put a question and a sentence in the same sentence. My grammar checking software throws following error:

This clause may not be clearly phrased as a question, despite the use of a question mark. Consider putting the auxiliary verb first, or using a question tag.

T2E

Posted 2013-08-04T19:56:20.923

Reputation: 3 602

9Your grammar checking software is illiterate. Pay it no heed. – StoneyB on hiatus – 2013-08-04T20:21:39.670

1At least the grammar checker used may instead of is ;^) – J.R. – 2013-08-05T01:49:40.150

Answers

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To formalize what StoneyB said, computerized grammar checkers are only meant as guides because they don't know context, they only know rules. You really need a human editor or a place like this to figure out if you are writing / speaking something correctly.

In this case, your sentence is perfectly legit. What you are doing is asking a rhetorical question, because you, the author, are not expecting an answer to your question. Instead you are using your question to make a point.

Actually, they just added a canonical post about this very subject!

lonehorseend

Posted 2013-08-04T19:56:20.923

Reputation: 492