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Is it possible to ask a question in Esperanto without 'ĉu,' or is this strictly grammatically incorrect? Especially in speech comes to mind, when asking with an inflection.

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Yes. Many questions are formed using the interrogative correlatives(kio, kiu, kial etc.). Examples are

  • Kial vi ploras? (Why are you crying?)
  • Vi faris kion? (You did what?)

It is also possible to construct sentences without ĉu or any of the interrogative correlatives, see Question structure in Esperanto.

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