I'm still not sure about the system. Could you tell me how soon I have to choose the best answer? Because a few days after posting a question, there is no way for me to accept an answer. Sometimes I am able to choose an answer.

I'd like to know how soon I need to accept and answer, and for how long I am able to accept one.

  • 2
    Currently following up on this for you with other moderators, but I'm pretty sure you can always accept an answer. Can you post a screenshot of what you're seeing, so I have more information to help you solve your problem? :)
    – WendiKidd
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 1:13
  • Okay, can you give me some more information about the question you can't accept an answer on? I did some research and you have to wait 15 minutes after asking a question to accept, and if you're accepting your own answer you must wait 48 hours. Other than that you shouldn't have a problem, in theory.
    – WendiKidd
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 1:25
  • I just looked at your questions list and all of them have accepted answers. Is the problem you're having on ELL, or another SE site?
    – WendiKidd
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 1:29
  • 1
    Thank you for the prompt response. Today I accepted one answer, which I opened many times to put a comment or choose the best answer, but I couldn't. And also I have posted my question, whose user name is " user1565". I didn't sign up properly before, so that's why I got this name, I guess. I want to accept the answer for this question, but I cannot. Commented May 10, 2013 at 1:35
  • Sorry, I'm not good at mechanical things, so I don't know how to screenshot, but sometimes it happened before. Above question is about the difference " style " and " taste". So could you explain the rule of choosing the best answer if there is? Now I have to go to work, so let me check after I come back. Thank you anyway. Commented May 10, 2013 at 1:45

3 Answers 3


The problem was that the first question you posted was with an unregistered account. You have since registered, so you were able to accept questions under your registered account, but the other question didn't recognize you as its owner.

I've had the Community Team merge the accounts, and the question now appears on your question list. You should be able to accept an answer now :) Let me know if you have any other problems!

  • 2
    Thank you so much for your help and some work about my accounts. I appreciate it. I was able to accept the answer just before. This site is really great. It gives me a great chance to learn English a lot deeper than studying it by textbooks. Commented May 10, 2013 at 7:45
  • @tennisgirl No problem, I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the site! :)
    – WendiKidd
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 14:33

Wendikidd answered about what happened in this specific case. I will answer about how soon an answer should be accepted.

There isn't a limit to when an answer should be accepted, and nobody should push you to accept an answer in the first two hours the question has been asked.

Blindly accepting the first given answer without giving to other users the time to answer your question is counter-productive: It could be the first user who answered misunderstood the question, or the given answer is incomplete. Since you are asking the question, chances are that you don't know the correct answer; you depend on the others to tell you which is the correct answer, and that is done on Stack Exchange with comments, and votes.

When I see the sole answer being accepted few minutes after being written, I always think that:

  • The user is rushing to accept an answer before somebody else notices the question, and down-votes it
  • The user is asking a very simple question for which an answer could have been found by taking more time to look for it
  • I got to understand the idea behind Stack Exchange as well as the meaning of voting. Thank you very much for a helpful comment. Commented May 14, 2013 at 0:36

I'm always in favor of waiting at least half a day, if not a full day. I think it's a bad practice to accept an answer within just a couple hours of posting; it's better to let the rest of the community have a look and possibly weigh in before accepting an answer.

I'm only stating my opinion on this, but I've often seen an ELL user accept the first answer that came along, sometimes within minutes of the question being asked. I've even seen a few rare cases where an answer with erroneous information was accepted – that's not doing anyone any good. I suppose users can do whatever they want to do, but I think it would be better to wait a bit.

  • 2
    This is very helpful. In my case I should've read how to use this site properly at first, but just by accident I found this site and started to post questions, so I didn't realize what you wrote here. I think some new users might be like me. So sometimes I felt like I had to accept the answer as soon as possible. But now after reading your statement, I understood that it is all right to take some time to accept the answer. I think it might take some time particularly for non-native speakes like me to understand how to use this site properly. Commented May 13, 2013 at 2:53

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