I see a lot of answers to questions in the comments of the questions. That's already been discussed in depth. I'm wondering about something in relation to that. Is there a general policy for taking someone else's comment and turning it into my own answer? For instance, here I took a comment from user3169 and made an answer out of it, while adding some additional resources to help explain the concept to the OP. Is that bad form? Or is that the right step to take in response to this initiative?

  • 1
    I think this practice in general is a good one, particularly for questions that have languished for some time without an answer.
    – J.R. Mod
    Oct 15, 2017 at 22:08

1 Answer 1


In general, you can cite them if you would like but it's not necessary unless you're specifically quoting their comment verbatim. In that case, you're at risk of plagiarism if you don't cite who wrote the content originally.

Citing the comment might look odd if at some point in the future one of the moderators or the user themselves deleted the comment, so your reference to the comment - which doesn't exist - is confusing.

That said, I don't see how your answer duplicates what user3169 says at all. Their comment says to omit the second "one" entirely. This isn't part of your answer.

Then why not leave out the second one's? "One can break this rule sometimes and try to put energy into ..." If you want a pronoun there, use "their" so it is gender neutral.

You mention using "their" instead of "his" but you're couching it in pluralizing both "one" and "his"... this is different than what user3169 is saying.

If you're opposed to that, another option would be to pluralize both one and his, so that it reads,

Some can break this rule sometimes and try to put their energy into...

user3169's sentence would be:

One can break this rule sometimes and try to put their energy into...

"Their" is accepted as a singular third person pronoun when you wish to have one that is gender-neutral. This is also correct.

In fact, I would argue that "Some" would be a bad choice. It implies that "not all" can break the rule, only some... which isn't what the sentence says when it says "one can break the rule"... which means "every/anyone can break the rule". Additionally, I find the repetition of "some"/"sometimes" messy.

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