NB. It is not a question about users not accepting an answer. It is not a whine about my question not being accepted. Etc.

I've followed up a few questions of a user and they are properly asked. Most of them are answered. He comments on both the questions and replies in a polite and inquiring manner (which I like a lot). However, he never accepts any replies as an answer, although it's evident that he's satisfied with the them.

I suspect that he (being in the initial stages of his English education), simply isn't aware of that fact. I might imagine that He simply doesn't know what the greeny marky thingy is and that the site gives him notifications when new replies are coming in. Pure confusion due to linguistic deficiency and insufficient knowledge of the site's functionality.

How can I help him? (Sending a notification doesn't help because he only seems to read the current question, keeping it in the browser window for a limited period of time. Also, I'm a bit lazy.)

I want to emphasize that it's not a complaint about him. In fact I think he's a great asset to our community. Here's one of examples.

  • 1
    The only thing you can do is comment and tell them that "you can [accept] answers" while pointing to a link.
    – M.A.R.
    Dec 31, 2015 at 16:06
  • Is there a link for accepting? Or did you mean the link to the question/reply in question? Dec 31, 2015 at 16:09
  • This link and this one.
    – M.A.R.
    Dec 31, 2015 at 16:11
  • Awesome. Spot on. I even happen to see a new question from him so I might just get lucky. Dec 31, 2015 at 16:14
  • Erm, how about not mentioning him/her by name then or linking to their posts? If you really mean it. Jan 1, 2016 at 2:06
  • @Araucaria I can't see the advantage of not posting a link. And I'm unclear on what I'd "really mean". I'm not sure what you refer to. It seems that there's an implicit reasoning behind your comment and that you've only served its punchline. I'm not insightful to follow it. Would you care to elaborate, please? Keep in mind that it's 3 AM on New Year so my brains be slow. (The only guess I can make is that you took my question as a complaint about them. In that case, please re-read the last paragraph.) Jan 1, 2016 at 2:13
  • To be as polite as I can, the advantage would be to not make the user feel singled out. Whatever benefit you think would be gained from the user accepting more questions than they already do, one thing is certain. This is that all of that benefit will be cancelled out by seeming to single him/her out here. I understand that you wish to educate them, but this is a bad idea. It makes it seem like you think you don't need educating in public yourself - which like the poster in question - you probably don't. Jan 1, 2016 at 2:28
  • @Araucaria I see your point and I'll definitely try to be more careful, as not to cause negative experience. Having said that, I need to point out that I definitely need educating (on occasion) and personally, I appreciate a clear message: "in X you did Y - please do Z instead". That way I myself know and others learn from that too. I don't see it as exposing me, rather exposing the action. (Now, I have self-confidence the size of national debt, so it's nearly impossible to hurt my feelings, but others may not, so I need to be more sensitive.) Jan 1, 2016 at 14:09
  • @Araucaria As a side note, I need to point out that this is ELL, meaning not everybody will be able to see the cautious request. So what you might see as harsh, will (in those cases) be in fact of use, whereas being overly precautious might be waste of energy. This particular member seems not to be offended - he appreciated the feedback so no harm no fault. (Feel free to ask him, just in case.) But next time it can cause an upset, so I'm taking your remark with the highest degree of respect. Feel urged to let me know if you see this as an appropriate plan. Jan 1, 2016 at 14:17
  • @Usernew A bit cryptic what the message was. Care to elaborate... I'm not sure whom you're commenting to, which makes it even harder to get the point. I'm not as smart as I look, hehe. Jan 12, 2016 at 9:21
  • @KonradViltersten you can simply tell them like that user did. :)
    – Usernew
    Jan 12, 2016 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


After I looked at the example question, I decided to write this out as an answer and not a comment, because the question was only asked yesterday and I think expecting an accepted answer in such a short time is not a good idea. There is some advantage to waiting a few days before accepting an answer, even if you have found one that works for you.

See this meta discussion for more information: Not so fast! (When should I accept my answer?)

Educating newer users about site features is very important, both because it helps them use the site more effectively and I think it makes our community here feel more welcoming. I don't want to discourage you from pointing them to the relevant parts of the help site, but please don't push them to accept an answer too quickly.

  • I feel that the part when I explain that it's a trend since long time for that user. While your point's perfectly valid, I fear that in the context of my question, it might be a bit misleading and interpreted as contrary to my wish of educating said user. Premature accept is bad. Omitted accept much worse. Dec 31, 2015 at 20:55
  • 2
    I looked at the history for that user and saw a reasonable mix of accepted and open questions. I think that you might be placing too much importance on answers being accepted. @KonradViltersten
    – ColleenV
    Jan 4, 2016 at 15:55
  • They might have accepted a larger portion since my request. Or I could've viewed non-representative portion of the questions. Generally speaking, if there are any answers, one of them should be accepted or commented with a follow-up by the OP. If one isn't satisfied, let others know why. If one is, give the credit of acceptance. (On SO, where I'm mainly on, the first working question should be normally accepted. On ELL/ELU, it's probably wiser to wait for a broader input. But I rather have premature accept than missing. Still, I agree with your point. Perhaps not the extent of it, though.) Jan 5, 2016 at 9:39

You must log in to answer this question.

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