I suppose of all sites for people to pick apart explicit meanings from questions, this would be it, but I was surprised to get down-voted when I answered a question with more details than the question explicitly asked for.

To be clear, I am not belly-aching the fact that I was down-voted. I am curious about what are the expectations for answers on this site. I don't want to start a flame war; I just want a civil discussion about this topic.

The question essentially asked if, and why, one form of a sentence was preferred over another. My answer also went into details about the differences in the two sentence forms.

Thoughts? Should I have just answered "Yes, because that's how it is"?

  • In the example you cite, I think that your answer was misleading. You say that the difference is active vs. passive voice when both constructs are actually passive voice. I can see not upvoting your answer, or even downvoting it, but I think the comment with the -1 doesn't describe that well. Commented Sep 15, 2010 at 19:23
  • 2
    If it was ten downvotes I could understand but I only see one downvote on that post, so it doesn't really seem like a big issue.
    – delete
    Commented Sep 15, 2010 at 22:32
  • I agree, its not a big issue. I was just wondering if I was misunderstanding what was expected of answers to questions.
    – pkaeding
    Commented Sep 15, 2010 at 22:38
  • @Boofus thanks for the input. Maybe I don't understand active vs. passive voice as well as I thought I did, then. Perhaps I should ask a new question on that :)
    – pkaeding
    Commented Sep 15, 2010 at 22:40

2 Answers 2


I think if you have extra, not-asked-for information, then at least it should not be the first thing you address in your answer, and it should not be almost the entire answer. The part of your answer that addresses the question is just one line at the end, and it only addresses half of the question ("is this correct?"), and not the question of why there are two different words that can be used.

  • Okay, I suppose that makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.
    – pkaeding
    Commented Sep 15, 2010 at 22:40
  • @pkaeding: Sure thing — thanks for not minding my (hopefully) constructive criticism.
    – Kosmonaut
    Commented Sep 16, 2010 at 1:37







See -- that answer isn't adequate. In almost every case, providing additional information makes an answer better, so long as the information is accurate and relevant. If the extra information doesn't add anything, then it probably shouldn't be there and might be downvoted, but answers which provide definitions, examples, and clarification are good answers.

You must log in to answer this question.

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