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I need to ask two questions, Can I ask this in same post or different post? These questions where based on same tags but they are entirely different.Last time when I asked a question in comment I got a reply as one questions per post. Today when I tried to post two different questions I am getting "You can only post once every 20 minutes"

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2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted

One question per post and yes, you have to wait.

If you ask more than 1 question per post, how are answerers (and the community at large) supposed to handle it?

  • What if they only have an answer to 1 question, but not the other? Should they answer it and not address both, or should they not answer because they can't answer both and deprive the community of a good response to a good question.
  • What if both questions are duplicate of other questions? Which one should be used as the duplicate target? No matter which one is picked people looking at the question will only be confused as the duplicate doesn't address the "other" question.
  • What if one question should be closed for any reason and the other shouldn't? Should we close it or leave it open.
  • What if I think one question is good and want to upvote it and the other is bad and want to downvote it?
  • What if someone finds your post via Google and thinks it will solve their problem, only to find all of the answers are about your other question?

Effectively, you are just marking it harder for the community to handle your post effectively. Each question should be able to stand on its own and be judged for its own merits. Similarly, it is better for you as you know that answers will directly address your one question and not parts of your question.

All this being said, there is some flexibility for 2 very closely related questions in the same post. And I don't mean closely related in that they have the same tags, but closely related enough that the same answer can address both question. However, I would not recommend you do this unless you have enough experience to judge just how closely related the question are.

As for the time limit, that is there as a spam prevention measure. The rate limiting effectively limits how many questions you can ask in a time period and also how quickly you can ask them. You can reference The Complete Rate-Limiting Guide for everything but you are getting tripped up by the 1 question per 20 minute limit. Fortunately that is a temporary one that is lifted once you have achieved a minimum rep of 125.

  • Users < 125 rep, 20 minutes
  • Users < 10k rep trip Captcha if more than once per 60 seconds
  • Users > 10k rep trip Captcha if more than once per 30 seconds
  • On Stack Overflow, Super User, Server Fault and Math (not active on all other sites)
    • Maximum of 6 questions per day
    • Maximum of 50 questions per 30 days

However, a side effect of the rate limiting also helps guide new users in how to ask good questions. Asking a question is not supposed to be a rapid fire exercise. Do not just throw out 2 or 3 quick questions and hope that someone gives you an answer. We expect users to do their research and finally decide to ask on Stack Overflow after they have exhausted every option. And then writing a good question should take time. And usually the act of writing a question actually help your research because it might give you more thoughts on additional keywords to include in searches. Additionally, Google is your friend in these matters. You'd be surprised how many questions are easily solved by searching the exact title in Google.

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I trust your word on this, but I see post after post on SO where users ask more than one question or change their question depending on the answer they receive. Makes me wish we had a requirement along with a close reason that works along with this requirement so that we can then inform users to follow the requirement when formulating their posts. Cheers. –  Sly Raskal Feb 24 at 11:52
    
@SlyRaskal well, if you have multiple unrelated questions, there are a couple of ways to handle it.... closing as "Unclear what you are asking" or "Too Broad" is certainly an option since it is difficult to answer when you have multiple questions, or you can just comment and ask the OP to focus on 1 question. –  psubsee2003 Feb 24 at 12:43
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@SlyRaskal And if a question changes via an edit (that isn't a result of just clarifying the post), that is a much larger discussion and there is some gray area, but in general if an edit invalidates existing answers, then the edit should be rolled back, and the OP informed that if they have a new question, to ask a new question. –  psubsee2003 Feb 24 at 12:44

Yes, only one question per question.

Also be sure to do some research before asking or your question/questions will likely get downvoted or closed.

Please familiarize yourself with the site and its rules before continuing. Otherwise there is a good chance you won't be happy with the results.

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I would also like to add to your answer, always as far as humanly possible give some form of example of what you have tried. Usually in the form of code snippets and screen shots. –  jacqijvv Feb 24 at 11:31

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