If I encounter a partial/incomplete answer (not partially wrong), should I downvote it?

  • 4
    That's up to you. Definitely leave a comment and explain what you think is wrong so that the author can correct/improve his/her answer.
    – Felix
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 9:21
  • @Felix any predefined rules here,because I do not want to demotivate a person's 50% correct efforts.rather I would leave a comment.what do u say Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 9:26
  • 1
    No, there are no rules, the tooltip only gives a hint by saying "this answer is not useful". Do you think the answer is not useful? For example, I hardly downvote but leave a comment instead. I downvote after some time if the author did not correct his/her answer (based on mine or other peoples comments) or if the answer was completely wrong.
    – Felix
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 9:30
  • I would suggest - that if the person acknowledged that his/her answer is a partial one, then no downvote is needed. However if the person answering has totally disregarded part of the OP's question then a downvote is in order. In both cases, comments cant hurt :)
    – Lix
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 9:31
  • @Felix I feel there should be rule. anyways tx. Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 9:34
  • OTOH, if someone's foolish enough to ask multiple questions in the same “Question”, please downvote the asker (leaving a comment as to why). Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 9:40
  • 1
    Partial answer != Partially incorrect answer. Which one do you mean?
    – Pekka
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 10:16
  • @Pekka I mean partial answer not partial incorrect answer Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 10:31
  • related: Placeholder Answers: Will update with answer soon!
    – gnat
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 14:52

3 Answers 3


if I read an answer which is 50% right or around 50% right,should I downvote that answer?

I don't, depends I guess. Personally I'd leave a comment mentioning the wrong part & if the post is edited to correct the mistake I'd add in the +1.

Of course, you have have the liberty to edit out & correct it on your own, if you're so confident.


I mean partial answer not partial incorrect answer

In general, partial answers are fine if what they already contain is truly helpful. It's absolutely not fair to downvote a contribution that may help the OP at least some of the way. Sometimes, answers are also intentionally incomplete if the OP is asking a "plz send teh codez" or a "fix my wall of code" type question.

Only if the partial answer was given in bad faith (i.e. it is incomplete and doesn't help the OP at all;maybe it was just too lazy to address the hard part) downvoting might be appropriate IMO.

  • +1 Sometimes an (intentionally) incomplete answer helps asker 100% though, simply because the answerer understood the question more than the author him/herself.
    – NGLN
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 10:51

It's up to you.

Consider this image:

Image credits to Shog9 ♦

If you think the partial answer is fine, leave it as-is or vote it up. Otherwise if you don't think it's enough or even partially wrong, you can vote it down.

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