There have been discussion earlier if similar but different questions should all go into one question post or into several independent (which may link to each other). The general consensus is to ask several separate questions:

I fully agree on that. However, when I do it, often enough I get votes as exact duplicate.

One example:

It is obviously not an exact duplicate because it asks about try_lock which does something different than lock. It still may be that the answers may be the same, however, I am not sure about that (and the people who closed it also don't, regarding to their comments).

I am wondering how I should handle it in the future. Because of such problems, I start to put several questions again into one question. But then I often don't really know what I should choose as the answer if they only answer one of the questions.

When I had them separated and the second and the second one gets closed, I am also not exactly sure what I should do if the first question was already answered but the answer does not answer my second question (see my example above -- the answer about lock does not mention try_lock at all).

  • I don't see how the try_lock example matters here. If that were part of a combined question, then that specific part would still have been (considered) a duplicate, wouldn't it?
    – Arjan
    Sep 26, 2010 at 10:42
  • 1
    @Arjan: In the question about lock, I did not asked about try_lock and I also did not get any answers about try_lock. So the question about try_lock is really separate from the question about lock.
    – Albert
    Sep 26, 2010 at 10:45
  • Okay, but my point is: if some question is closed as a duplicate, then what is different if that very same question would be part of a post that asks multiple questions simultaneously? (Or, are you actually asking two questions in this very post as well? That proves the point that questions should not be combined into one larger post.)
    – Arjan
    Sep 26, 2010 at 10:58
  • The first question was already answered and does not answer the second question. What should I do then? Unmark the answer and add the other question to have them combined and hope that some people might recheck it and add the answer to the second question?
    – Albert
    Sep 26, 2010 at 11:30
  • No, combining questions into a single post is not my favourite at all, nor is changing the meaning of questions. (Note that closing questions as a duplicate is not a punishment. Folks might very well follow the link to the original, and post a new answer after all. It's just a way to keep all answers to one question in one place, meanwhile creating multiple "access points". That being the reason, it's important to close quickly. To avoid that, if you know that existing questions don't answer your question, either ensure yours is different, or somehow bump the original question.)
    – Arjan
    Sep 26, 2010 at 11:44
  • @Arjan: I did that, i.e. I explicitly noted that and how it is different from the other question. But it didn't helped. I also asked again and it seems that people have not actually closed it because it is a duplicate but because of other issues (it seems they just supported the duplicate-voting to get it closed sooner/faster).
    – Albert
    Sep 26, 2010 at 12:44
  • 1
    (Only one close reason is shown. If 3 people vote to close as a duplicate, and 2 for other reasons, then only the duplicate reason is shown. Likewise, if 2 vote to migrate, and 3 have all different reasons, then a question will be migrated.)
    – Arjan
    Sep 26, 2010 at 12:56

2 Answers 2


What you're really asking is "how can I avoid a question being closed as a duplicate of something it's only similar to?" and the answer is to "surface" or "daylight" (depending on where you live) that similarity. So don't ask

What is the X of A? What is the X of B? What is the X of C?

And don't ask those as three separate questions either. Instead ask:

What is the X of A?

Is the X of B significantly different from the X of A (and link to the first question)?

Is the X of C significantly different from the X of A (link to the first question) the way the X of B is [or isn't] (link to the second question)?

Pre-emptively linking to possible duplicates and explaining in your question why it's not a dupe often clarifies things and establishes the background you have. See Someone flagged my question as already answered, but it's not for more on this.

In your case, knowing the efficiency of lock you now want to know the efficiency of try_lock - so ask it that way! There's no need to make each question look like it could have been written independently of the other. The more you try to make them appear unrelated, the more likely one will be closed as a dupe of the other. So embrace it.

  • Note that at the time I asked those question, I asked them simultaneously, so I didn't knew the answer for neither of them. Also, I think I have applied all your suggestions in my question (already 7 years ago!) but it is still closed.
    – Albert
    Jun 5, 2017 at 13:23

One of the many problems with:

I start to put several questions again into one question.


But then I often don't really know what I should choose as the answer if they only answer one of the questions.

Please always try to ask only one question per question. If you find that difficult to do then I think you have identified a skill to work on acquiring.

Once you have mastered how to ask clear focussed questions one at a time you will start to see the answers flow from Stack Exchange sites, that is if you still need to ask them because the process of clarifying your question will often lead you to your own answer.

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