I voted to close unless + future: is it possible as a possible duplicate of the question Why must the future tense not be used after 'unless', which had been asked less than twenty hours previously. And I thought it better to keep the conversation about this usage at one place instead of being at two places ("sprawling" across two possibly duplicate questions).

Yet, now I notice the "duplicate notice" at the second question, which states:

marked as duplicate by pazzo, ColleenV, Nicole, StoneyB 16 hours ago This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Ostensibly this is exactly what user5577 did. He/she asked a new question because the existing answers did not fully address his/her (further) question on the matter.

A concern is that referring user5577 back to the question (and answers) that initially caused 5577 to ask a new question does not actually service 5577's needs--unless, I guess, other or more comprehensive answers are added to the first question.

Is there a way for user5577 to indicate this, other than the seemingly sensible path of doing exactly what 5577 did: ask a clarifying question? What else could 5577 have done, given that he/she is a learner?

  • 1
    There is a gray area for follow up questions, but in this case it seemed like the follow up should have been done with the original question. Also, closing a question isn't a permanent thing. If the closed question is edited to distinguish it from the duplicate, it can be reopened.
    – ColleenV
    Commented May 3, 2015 at 3:42

1 Answer 1


I think that asking an additional question for clarification is totally okay.

That said, I have some suggestions for the asker:

  1. Tell us you've read the answers on the original, and explain why they aren't enough. Sometimes people ask follow-up questions because what they want to know isn't really addressed adequately by the existing answers. That's okay, but we need to know they've read both the question and answer, and we need to know how their concern is different, or what specifically wasn't addressed by the original.

    This leads me to my second suggestion:

  2. Give the original question some time. As pazzo points out, they asked their question only hours after the original, which means that people didn't have much time to post answers. They can't tell whether their concern is adequately addressed by the original if they don't wait to see what those answers say. Even if answers have been posted, they should wait to see if additional answers are posted or edits are made.

If they follow these suggestions, they should be able to ask a question we won't close as a duplicate. We just need to know why the original question didn't meet their needs.

Alternatively, if their question really is identical to the original, they can post a bounty in a week or so to attract more attention. You can include a considerable amount of text with your bounty to explain why you're posting it, so they should be able to attract answers that meet their needs that way.


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