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Imagin you posted a question on ELU. Sometime later you go to your question hoping your problem will be solved, only to find a "duplicate" mark on it. Disappointed but encouraged by the prospect of enlightenment you click the link. But, after having read the question and answers carefully, you are still in the dark, not understanding why the two questions are the same.

This is exactly what happened to me. Learners often ask "wrong" questions because of the very fact that they don't know the answer. Therefore, if you choose only "correct" questions, you may throw away real questions from earnest learners.

I urge you to consider more about learners point of view before marking a question as a duplicate. I also would like to suggest some kind of mechanism in a question page marked as a duplicate which enables questioners to ask the reason why they got the label. I believe people who hold a question have some responsibility to the questioner because they have taken away a chance of getting answers from the questioner.

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    It seems to me this wording might be an error: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/123976/… I'm not sure though. Anyway, my advice for your situation is to edit your question some more to explain why you're still confused. Try to give as many specific details about what you want to learn as you can. Your question already has two votes to reopen. – sumelic Sep 14 '16 at 15:17
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    I'm a bit confused about one point: if you want people to consider this question as coming from a "learner's point of view", why did you ask it here rather than on English Language Learners? I see that you have accounts on both sites. – sumelic Sep 14 '16 at 15:20
  • @suməlic, I understand ELU is also the site for learners. I had posted questions on ELL and realized that my questions attracted more opinions from fellow learners than answers. – Aki Sep 14 '16 at 16:46
  • @suməlic, I think there is no problem with the wording "exact duplicate". You just have to put it to the questions the words means. – Aki Sep 14 '16 at 17:04
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    @Aki Depends what you mean by "learners". In a sense, everyone is a learner, all the time. But that's not what is meant by "learners" in the sense of "English Language Learners". If you want an audience sensitive to the needs and considerations of those learning English as a foreign language, but not yet having mastered it, then you should ask on ELL. EL&U is not a site for "better answers to the same kinds of questions asked on ELL", or there would not be two sites. EL&U is a different site, with a different charter, serving fundamentally different kinds of questions. Short story: use ELL. – Dan Bron Sep 14 '16 at 18:05
  • @DanBron, I didn't mean specifically those learning English as a foreign language. Those considering split-infinitives ungrammatical, who tend to be native English speakers, are likely to ask a similar question to mine. My point is that people are apt to ask ill-formed questions as they don't know much about the subject, which is the reason they ask the questions in the first place. So, it serves the purpose of this site to mark a question as "exact duplicate" when it is really so, as the person who created the label intended. I don't believe this site is only for those who mastered English. – Aki Sep 15 '16 at 4:00
  • I was about to say 'learners should be using a different website, as per Help Center advice', until I read all your postings. You use the word 'learner' in a very self-deprecatory way here (in one sense, we're all learners, even if we won't admit it), but your question is neither worthy of migration to ELL, nor a strict duplicate. Deletions should not be expected to conform to a single general pattern, and the infinitive marker to has distanced itself by quite a way from the preposition. PS Avoid classing yourself as a 'learner' hereabouts. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 16 '16 at 8:54
  • @EdwinAshworth, ."we're all learners, even if we won't admit it." That is not my words. – Aki Dec 18 '16 at 8:52
  • I would add, though, Aki, that 'I urge you to consider more about learners' points of view before marking a question as a duplicate.' and 'Therefore, if you choose only "correct" questions, you may throw away real questions from earnest learners.' tend to undermine the ELU aim to be a site for linguists rather than people learning the basics of English. There are many sites aimed at helping learners; is it too much to have one aimed at linguists? – Edwin Ashworth Dec 18 '16 at 15:15
  • @EdwinAshworth, yes that is my words. Now, your post is beginning to look like a comment. – Aki Dec 18 '16 at 16:38
  • I notice that you're not responding to the implied suggestion that more elementary questions are better asked on other websites. ELL, for instance, was set up for this reason. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 18 '16 at 23:39
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Have a look at the following links (disclosure: I wrote the second).

At Stack Exchange, the overall goal is to build a repository of answers to questions of interest to specific communities. Placing questions on hold is a way for the community to ask for the question to be improved. Normally, it is only if no improvement is forthcoming within 5 days that the question is closed and possibly deleted.

In the case of a true duplicate, the repository already contains the question, so the duplicate isn't needed. As the question's author, if you think that your question is actually different, the thing to do is to edit your question, linking the purported duplicate, and stating why your question isn't its duplicate, explicitly stating how it is different. You should also take the opportunity to rephrase your question if it helps to clarify exactly what you are asking.

This automatically pushes your question to a review queue, where the community looks at your edits and considers whether to reopen your question. In addition, after editing your question, you can also post a question on Meta to make your case.

Now, to address your specific questions and issues:

What is “an exact duplicate of an existing question”?

It's one where both questions address exactly the same issue. In your case, both questions appear to be asking about the presence or absence of the word "to" in a list of conjunctions. If your question is different, you should explain how it is different.

I urge you to consider more about learners point of view before marking a question as a duplicate.

Determining whether a question is a duplicate is normally fairly objective process. Reviewers look at both questions to see if there is so much overlap that the new question doesn't add anything to the repository. If there is, and if the other question has been answered properly, the learner loses nothing by looking at the answers to the other question.

Note that before asking questions, users are expected to check the repository for answers. The goal of SE is to build a repository of expert answers, and the repository already contains many questions that are curated to be on topic and well-answered, so it's a good place to check.

I also would like to suggest some kind of mechanism in a question page marked as a duplicate which enables questioners to ask the reason why they got the label.

This can be done in comments under the question, or on Meta.

I believe people who [place] a question [on hold] have some responsibility to the questioner because they have taken away a chance of getting answers from the questioner.

In the case of a true duplicate, the answers should exist on the linked question, or others can navigate to it via the closed question, and place new answers there.

Where it isn't a true duplicate, the wording of the question would have already misled (typically 5) others. If the question was kept open, the answers you get might not suit the question you had in mind. Editing to clarify your question helps you to get better answers.

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