I want to answer some questions, so that I get some reputation, at least to do the most common actions in Stack Overflow. So, I wanted to search for questions without answers, in subjects I have good knowledge about. It was not hard to find out how specific tags can be searched. So I found one question to help, and answered it.

After that, I wanted more... but I noticed there were many results marked as "duplicate" (written [duplicate] in the subject). So, I read Search help again, to see how to search things excluding tags from the results. This is where it is failing for me.

To search a tag, we write it inside square brackets. For example, to search for threads about Bash scripts and uses, we may search for:


And to exclude things from results (tags or words), we write a "-" sign attached before it. For example, we may search for:


One more important thing: have no answer. We just add answers:0 to our query.

So, I decided to search for Bash-related questions that are not duplicates, and have not been answered yet. The query for that can be:

[bash] -[duplicate] answers:0

But the first two results are duplicates! Look:

Screenshot of Stack Overflow site after searching for "[bash] -[duplicate] answers:0", showing the two first results are wrong, since they are duplicate questions.

I tried to put the excluding term before the Bash tag, but the result is the same.

  • 3
    Can you please edit your question and leave only your actual question? There are so many non relevant details I can't edit myself. For example it's 100% not relevant that you posted after long time or got back to 1 rep, and many more details that got nothing to do with what you really ask. May 29, 2022 at 6:24
  • 1
    @shadow: I tried editing out some irrelevant details. It should be focused now.
    – Justin
    May 29, 2022 at 9:10
  • I did not like your editing, @Justin. They remove the context and how I got to the actual problem, and you also removed the parts where I said things I did. And this is part of something that makes the questions here have better chances to be answered, no being closed, and not being deleted.
    – Balaco
    May 29, 2022 at 14:37
  • 1
    No, you only need to get to the actual problem, in this case. The context is completely irrelevant here (as noted by another user).
    – Justin
    May 29, 2022 at 14:54

1 Answer 1


-[duplicate] does not do what you think it is doing. That searches for questions that do not have the tag on them. It has nothing to do with the question being closed as a duplicate. You were looking for duplicate:no.

Here's an example of a search with the query [bash] duplicate:no answers:0:

enter image description here

Note that this will give you Bash-related questions which do not have answers, and have not been marked as duplicates, but, this will also include questions which have been [closed] for other reasons (such questions will also be unanswerable).

So if you're looking for questions with no answers, and which have not been marked as [duplicate] or have not been [closed], then the proper search term would be closed:no:

enter image description here


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .