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  1. #1
    vcolts is offline Member
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    Default Question with 2+ options

    A) When a task is given out, do you immediately jump on it or do you wait until the last minute?

    B) When a task is given out, do you immediately jump on it? Or do you wait until the last minute?

    C) When a task is given out, do you immediately jump on it? or do you wait until the last minute?


    I am assuming A is the most grammatically correct choice due to the structure. However, often times, I want to write it like B due to how it is actually spoken.

    Which one of the option is the most grammatically correct in writing and why?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    kfredson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Question with 2+ options

    Quote Originally Posted by vcolts View Post
    A) When a task is given out, do you immediately jump on it or do you wait until the last minute?

    B) When a task is given out, do you immediately jump on it? Or do you wait until the last minute?

    C) When a task is given out, do you immediately jump on it? or do you wait until the last minute?


    I am assuming A is the most grammatically correct choice due to the structure. However, often times, I want to write it like B due to how it is actually spoken.

    Which one of the option is the most grammatically correct in writing and why?

    Thanks in advance.
    I totally agree. It is perfectly fine to write it as B if you want to emphasize the contrast. Technically C requires the capitalization of "or," but I doubt that many people would have a problem with the way you have written it. More importantly, I think, you lose the emphasis on "Or" that you seem to be trying to achieve.

  3. #3
    J S Brown is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Question with 2+ options

    I wanted to comment on this because I think A, while grammatically correct, is the wrong way to ask. All options pose questions to be answer with "yes" or "no." If I was asked A, and one of the two options described me, I should answer, "yes." (I do immediately jump on it or wait until the last minute.)

    It seems to me that the correct way to ask about a person which option fits is to list the options. However, I'm not sure how that would be properly formatted. Something like this:

    Which of these describes your response when given a new task? - 1) You immediately jump; 2) You wait until the last minute.

    Does a standard exist for asking a question with a list of options?

  4. #4
    kfredson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Question with 2+ options

    Quote Originally Posted by J S Brown View Post
    I wanted to comment on this because I think A, while grammatically correct, is the wrong way to ask. All options pose questions to be answer with "yes" or "no." If I was asked A, and one of the two options described me, I should answer, "yes." (I do immediately jump on it or wait until the last minute.)

    It seems to me that the correct way to ask about a person which option fits is to list the options. However, I'm not sure how that would be properly formatted. Something like this:

    Which of these describes your response when given a new task? - 1) You immediately jump; 2) You wait until the last minute.

    Does a standard exist for asking a question with a list of options?
    I'm not aware of one. I see such lists take many formats.

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Question with 2+ options

    Quote Originally Posted by J S Brown View Post
    I wanted to comment on this because I think A, while grammatically correct, is the wrong way to ask. All options pose questions to be answer with "yes" or "no." If I was asked A, and one of the two options described me, I should answer, "yes." (I do immediately jump on it or wait until the last minute.)

    It seems to me that the correct way to ask about a person which option fits is to list the options. However, I'm not sure how that would be properly formatted. Something like this:

    Which of these describes your response when given a new task? - 1) You immediately jump; 2) You wait until the last minute.

    Does a standard exist for asking a question with a list of options?
    If you're going to ask a question and give a list of options for the answer, then it would be impossible for the answer to be simply yes or no.

  6. #6
    J S Brown is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Question with 2+ options

    Perhaps I wasn't clear. I'll use a simpler example.

    "Are you male or female?" - This is a question which should be answered with "yes" or "no;" not "male" or "female." I understand the intention of such a question is to evoke a choice, but it doesn't actually ask that.

    What I want to know is: How should the question be formatted such that is prompts a person to choose an option instead of responding with "yes" or "no?"

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Question with 2+ options

    Quote Originally Posted by J S Brown View Post
    Perhaps I wasn't clear. I'll use a simpler example.

    "Are you male or female?" - This is a question which should be answered with "yes" or "no;" not "male" or "female." I understand the intention of such a question is to evoke a choice, but it doesn't actually ask that.

    What I want to know is: How should the question be formatted such that is prompts a person to choose an option instead of responding with "yes" or "no?"
    If you want to ensure they make a choice then I would ask, in this example:

    Are you male, or are you female?

    OR

    Which one are you - male or female?

    Personally, if anyone replied to "Are you male or female?" with the word "Yes" I would assume they were being very sarcastic. It's along the same lines as those people who, when completing a form and get to the word "Sex" write "Yes please" instead of M or F (male or female).

    Edit: I would also add that I disagree with your first statement that the question "Are you male or female?" SHOULD be answered with either yes or no. The question is clearly a choice between 2 things. If I asked you "Do you eat bread or cheese?" you could answer "I eat both", but simply saying "Yes" would not be an appropriate response.

  8. #8
    J S Brown is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Question with 2+ options

    It may seem sarcastic, but that isn't my concern. I'm curious about what is correct.

    "Are you male?" - This seems to me to clearly be a yes/no question. I don't know why it would become a question of options when an "or" is added.

  9. #9
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Question with 2+ options

    Quote Originally Posted by J S Brown View Post
    It may seem sarcastic, but that isn't my concern. I'm curious about what is correct.

    "Are you male?" - This seems to me to clearly be a yes/no question. I don't know why it would become a question of options when an "or" is added.
    "Are you male?" is clearly a Yes/No question. As is "Are you female?" However, the addition of the word "or" provides an alternative and if one is given alternatives, the obvious thing to do is to choose between them.

  10. #10
    J S Brown is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Question with 2+ options

    Then how would I ask a yes/no question about a list of options?

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