In this question, the user quoted an example sentence and asked

How does jemands decline in genitive form?

I have asked for clarifications in the comments. However, the OP later posted an answer that indicated that their actual question seemed to be

Why does jemands decline in genitive form?

I am not certain, how to proceed here:

Option 1 Edit the question according to OP's answer and to the price that other answers become invalid. However, one might argue, the other posters could/should have asked/waited for OP's clarification.

Option 2 Leave the question as it is and live with the discrepancy between OP's question and answer and wait for more "unclear what you're asking" close votes.

Option 3 Something else?

2 Answers 2


This site is for finding answers to questions. It is not meant to find an answer to a very specific question a single user may have. It is for all of us.

That said we should perform an edit any time as soon as we get closer to this central goal of our Q & A site. We should not think in short terms but in the long term usability. In a year or more from now nobody will see why an edit was made, and what answer does no longer fit to a question. It is the votes, the clarity, and the accepted state of an answer that counts then.

In this specific case we could wait until the OP accepts their own answer or until the upvoted answer was edited to reflect the issue which was pointed to them in a comment. We may also consider an edit to salvage the post which would otherwise be closed as dupe to this question or as unclear.

Some time ago I summarized what a good edit is all about:

In this case I would say an edit may help to salvage the post. It is not necessarily us who need to make the edit. It could also be the OP if we ask them to do so.


Option #3: Leave a comment under OP's answer that what he's responding to is the Why and not the How and then point out he could ask a new question and self-answer to the Why and delete the How answer.

When I leave comments like that, on the site I'm more active than here, I normally add:

We promise we won't charge you extra money for asking an additional question and giving an additional answer! ;-)

  • 2
    By now, the OP was asked in three different comments, whether s/he asks for Why? instead of How? and did not answer any of them. Maybe OP is not aware of the difference in English language...
    – Arsak
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 17:23
  • @Marzipanherz This is pure conjecture, but looking the OP self-answered, a comment below his answer might have more effect than a comment below his question...
    – Fabby
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 17:26

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