Similar to this question: One post with multiple questions or multiple posts? except my main problem is accusations of creating duplicates when I (correctly, in my view) post separate and completely different but superficially similar-looking questions.

Here's an example: Are there words that specify that a number was pronounced 'six double zero ' vs 'six zero zero'? . The question actually got closed as a duplicate when it is not a duplicate at all because it is a completely different question -- a case of "close but no cigar", as I see it.

I feel like I'm in a catch twenty-two situation when posting questions. If I post related but different questions separately, I get accused in the comments of creating a duplicate, but if I post them together I am (not as often) accused of having too many questions in one post. [I'm afraid to ask, but is this a normal experience for a noob on SE, or are people out to get me? Or both? :)]

  • 3
    While you may have a point, could you link to the particular questions you are referring to. Of course, if they're all on the same site, then that site's meta might be a better place to ask. My personal experience as a newb on different sites has varied according to the site's ethos. My advice, pay attention to the successful questions on your target site, how they are written, how they approach the issues, and act accordingly.
    – W.O.
    Apr 18, 2021 at 3:30
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? One post with multiple questions or multiple posts?
    – PolyGeo
    Apr 18, 2021 at 3:40
  • 4
    Does this answer your question? How to ask multiple similar but different questions?
    – Rob
    Apr 18, 2021 at 6:00

2 Answers 2


I think that one of the most important things to learn early in your use of Stack Exchange sites is that one question per question is a cornerstone of focused Q&A.

My "rules of thumb" are:

  1. If there is more than one question mark present, then more often than not there are multiple questions, and they should be asked separately. Sometimes, several marked questions are really just asking the same thing in different ways but in those cases it is usually easy to re-write them as a single question.
  2. If the multiple questions you wish to ask are related then keep them linked by referencing the others at the beginning of each similar question to make clear why it is not a duplicate.

Yes it's normal for a new user to feel it's seemingly impossible to get a question right. It's a skill that comes with experience making an accurate guess (and search) beforehand if a question will be well received or not.

This also varies significantly depending on which site you use. The example you gave was from english.stackexchange.com it's one of the larger sites on the network with a mature repository (meaning the most common questions are asked and answered, and it's not easy to find an unprecedented question or one that differentiates itself clearly in relation to others). Some sites also have significantly higher close rates than others, see 2020: a year in closing.

What I've seen that does work is if your question is not a duplicate you should clearly assert so and explain why it isn't in the comments. Reviewers who have to decide if they cast a close or reopen vote, or not, do take the explanations in the comments by the OP seriously. In case reviewers have made a mistake, do raise a costum mod flag and explain why. The mods in general have a very acute sense and if a mistake was made, or there is a reasonable margin to leave the question open, they will act on it.

(I also suppose you've had a bout of bad luck, I was reviewing on SO today and found a poster that asked 30 duplicate questions in a row with only 1 having been closed. It's not frequent but it does happen.)

  • How do I raise a costum mod flag? What is SO? Apr 18, 2021 at 6:03
  • @MatthewChristopherBartsh under any post or comment click the flag link and choose "in need of moderator intervention", see also here. SO is the acronym for the largest site on the network stackoverflow.com
    – bad_coder
    Apr 18, 2021 at 6:15
  • Yes except put the explanation in the question not comments - assume comments are deleted they are only there to improve the question
    – mmmmmm
    Apr 18, 2021 at 10:26
  • @mmmmmm I see you're missing the strunk&white badge, be my guest and edit the comment into the post. Leave an upvote when you're done :D
    – bad_coder
    Apr 18, 2021 at 10:30
  • I'll give the upvote - but I would reject what you suggest as an edit by me as it chnages your original intention (as I have one edit on meta in > 10 years the badge is no incentive)
    – mmmmmm
    Apr 18, 2021 at 10:35
  • I hereby give my official sanctioning that @mmmmmm edit my post and let all reviewers take notice to approve such master copy-editing to celebrate the only other instance and occasion.
    – bad_coder
    Apr 18, 2021 at 10:38

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