In this comment, Troyen writes:

If you're asking solid questions with a lot of effort and thought put into them, I wouldn't restrict yourself to an arbitrary number.

However, I've seen comments on the main site such as this one by Tsuyoshi Ito suggesting the opposite:

Just in case, I am not suggesting that you post one question after another. If you do so, you may be viewed as a free rider. But you cannot avoid being viewed as a free rider by just cramping several questions into one post.

How often is it appropriate to ask questions?

  • Does the answer change if the asker also answers questions?
  • Does the answer change if the questions are "solid questions with a lot of effort and thought put into them"?

2 Answers 2


To expand on my comment a bit:

The general expectation on Stack Exchange is that the asker has done a bit of research into their topic before asking. Some questions can be answered with a simple search.

If the user tries but is unable to find useful information (maybe they used the wrong keywords so a page with the answer didn't show up) or would like additional clarification about something, then they can ask their question. It's helpful to include research in this step because it may allow people to also point out suggestions to help research future questions while they answer your question (such as "try including these keywords next time").

Now, if you have a follow-up question, that's fine. Just make sure to do a little research on that topic before opening a new question.

For example:

Q: Why is X conjugated like this?

A: Because of grammar rule Y (that you've never heard of before).

Before asking a follow-up question about Y, take a few minutes to look up the topic and familiarize yourself with the basics and you might even answer your own question. But, if you are still unclear about something, then go ahead and post your follow-up question about Y (and preferably mention your research or what you didn't understand in the results you found).

Now you have posted two questions. But, since you showed you were at least putting some effort into your questions, that's okay.

What I believe Tsuyoshi was talking about was the situation where you immediately ask "What is Y?" and the immediate answer is "Did you look it up?"

A good rule of thumb is to put as much effort into researching your question as someone would put into answering it for you.

  • Just in case, I was not talking about follow-up questions in the context of my particular comment quoted in this question. But probably that one case does not matter much. Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 23:07
  • Question-stuffing is a similar issue, but I thought my answer was getting too long to call it out explicitly.
    – Troyen
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 23:15
  • Since you're both in agreement, I believe my question was based on a misunderstanding. Both answers are helpful to me, but since this answer goes into considerably more detail, I'm going to accept this one. Thank you!
    – user1478
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 12:11

I agree with Troyen. However, I doubt that anyone can come up with many good questions in a short time, because good questions require some research, and research takes time.

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