If a question asks about a broad scenario, and then a later question asks about one specific instance of that broad scenario, surely the latter question is a duplicate of the former. Am I wrong?

To clarify, I'm talking about subsequent questions that end up asking the same thing as a previous question, only limiting the scope of it. For example, if a question asked about weekends in a particular game, a later question might ask about sundays. If a question asked which characters can be married in a game, a later question might ask if a specific character can be married.

The argument for this kind of questions I've seen is that "there might be exceptions".

Case in point: to me this question is without any doubt a duplicate of this question.

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  • @Robotnik Neither of those really applies to what I'm asking. Nov 15, 2016 at 16:29
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    @DanmakuGrazer Read the Dr. Strangedupe post. In addition, the first link from Robotnik has an accepted answer that states "Duplicate information in answers (in part or in whole) does not automatically make questions duplicates." How would this statement not apply to what you are asking? Nov 15, 2016 at 16:55
  • @BanhMiDacBiet Because that example is not close to what I'm talking about. It's kinda tangentially related, sure, but it's not the same, or even close. Nov 15, 2016 at 17:07
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    @Danmaku Which is why I didn't mark your question a dupe of the former, instead only linking them for related reading. :-). Either case, the answer on the former is relevant here too as Banh points out
    – Robotnik Mod
    Nov 15, 2016 at 19:59
  • @Robotnik It's relevant, but it's overall a very empty statement that says nothing one way or the other. Nov 15, 2016 at 20:18
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    Seems pretty relevant to me: "One question is about general strategy. The other...happens to be something that could be taken into account in an answer about general strategy. These are not duplicates. We don't serve anyone well by trying to force them to be." Your argument boils down to "if the broader question could cover a specific scenario (even if it doesn't) it means they're exact duplicates."
    – Robotnik Mod
    Nov 15, 2016 at 22:26
  • @Robotnik No, that's not what I'm saying at all. Nov 15, 2016 at 22:35
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    @DanmakuGrazer So far you have only disagreed with others while providing no reasoning behind it other than saying our examples are unrelated. Instead of saying "no" to everything, it would be helpful if you gave us more concrete reasoning behind why you believe it should apply. For example, you admitted that the linked questions are related and proceed to say they do not apply here. Why do they not apply? What makes this stand out? Etc. Nov 15, 2016 at 22:41
  • @BanhMiDacBiet Asking a question that was already asked, but limiting the scope in some way. For example, if a question asked about weekends in a particular game, a later question might ask about sundays. If a question asked which characters can be married in a game, a later question might ask if a specific character can be married. These fit the example I gave, and it's the kind of question I wanted to talk about. It's true I did a terrible job at explaining it, I thought the difference was more obvious than it is. Nov 15, 2016 at 23:01
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    @DanmakuGrazer Okay, now your question has a more reasonable basis for it. In my opinion, some of the possible dupes are more nuanced and should not be marked as such. As a counter to your examples, what if certain weekend days had different game events? Although a character may be able to be married, the question itself may ask how you can marry a specific character or what decisions prevent you from marrying them. Basically, before marking as a dupe it should be looked at more carefully instead of jumping to a conclusion. For the questions linked, I believe the specific answer is valid. Nov 15, 2016 at 23:36
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    @BanhMiDacBiet While I don't agree with everything you've said, I think I blew this into a much bigger deal than it actually is. This entire question was unnecessary, and I feel stupid for asking it. Nov 16, 2016 at 13:09

2 Answers 2


At a glance, these questions may be mistaken as duplicates. However, I, and a few others, have shown that the "duplicate" question is actually not a duplicate.

The latter question asks a simple question: "If I switch my buddy Pokémon A to buddy Pokémon B, regardless of species, does total distance reset?"

The answer is no, the total distance is reset.

The question you are attempting to mark as a duplicate asks a different question: "If I switch from buddy Pokémon A of species X to buddy Pokémon B of species X, is the total distance the same across both of them, as they are both species X? Or is it different because they are Pokémon A and B?"

The answer is no, the total distance is dependent on whether it is Pokémon A or B, not on if it is species X or Y.

In your last comment on the question, you made a remark, saying "if I ask the same question about switching from Pidgey to a Rattata, would it be a duplicate?" The answer to that question is absolutely, yes, it is a duplicate. However, by adding the distinction of different species, you are asking a different question that is covered by the one you're duping to. None of the answers in that question answer the question asked in the "duplicate" and people searching for an answer for the one you want to mark as a duplicate would not find the information they sought by only seeing the question you want it to be duped to.

In general, however, I believe we are supposed to not mark things as duplicates if they do not help the original asker. In this instance, the duped question would not help someone with the same question as the dupe. See this meta post.

  • "If I change my Buddy Pokemon, and then later switch it back to my starter, will this distance have reset or will it still be at 19 kilometers and continue from there?" and "If I walk a Squirtle (Squirtle A) for 10 km, then later select a different Squirtle (Squirtle B) as my buddy. Will it still show 10 km total walk distance, or will it be 0?". If these look like different questions to you, then there's no point in continuing. Nov 15, 2016 at 12:45
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    The second question asks if total walk distance is the same across two Pokémon of the same species, which is not covered by the first.
    – Vemonus
    Nov 15, 2016 at 13:04
  • Neither question mentions rewards. Why do you keep bringing that up? Nov 15, 2016 at 13:14
  • And yes, the second question IS covered by the first. The first asks two any Pokémon, including the same species. Nov 15, 2016 at 13:15
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    I was reading the answers and overlooked the title of the first question. However, these are still not duplicates. There is no indication of how it would work with two Pokémon in the same species in one question, while the second is only asking about this case. You could theoretically answer the first question with an example of two Pokémon in the same species, but it would be unwarranted and we are supposed to close questions based on the question itself being a duplicate, not duplicate answers.
    – Vemonus
    Nov 15, 2016 at 13:20
  • The questions are duplicates, not the answers. The first question covers ALL cases. Same Pokémon, same species, different Pokémon, different species, all of it. Nov 15, 2016 at 13:24
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    Yes but nowhere in the first question specifies that Pokémon of the same species do not share a total walk distance. Is it an oversight by the answers? No. The question did not ask about it, and the answers did not cover it. Thus, a second question arose about the specific case of the same species. This is like marking the Sombra questions regarding her invisibility as duplicates of each other because in each of them, the answers could say "she's not affected in this case, but she is in X, Y, Z," where X, Y, and Z are the premises of 3 other questions, which is wrong. See the linked meta post.
    – Vemonus
    Nov 15, 2016 at 13:27
  • Once again, the question was asked as broadly as possible, the answer just failed to recognize that. As for your Sombra simile, that's also wrong. It's like asking "Does damage stop Sombra's invisibility?" and then later asking "Does damage from Widowmaker's mine stop Sombra's invisibility?". One case falls cleanly into the other, making it a complete duplicate. Nov 15, 2016 at 13:31
  • Your linked meta post has also nothing to do with this matter. Nov 15, 2016 at 13:31
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    I'm not sure how you can say that it has nothing to do with this. "Do not close questions as duplicates if the target question does not help the new asker." The question asked by Tester101 is not answered by the other question. Thus, it should be left open and not marked as a duplicate.
    – Vemonus
    Nov 15, 2016 at 13:33
  • But it absolutely is answered by the other question. The other question covers every case, as I've said multiple times now. I'm baffled that somehow you can't recognize that. Imagine I started asking about every single possible Pokémon switch, just because it's not esplicitly mentioned in the answer. You'd agree that's ridiculous, right? Nov 15, 2016 at 13:36
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    Yes, that would be ridiculous. However, the lack of specification by the first question is enough so that someone who wants to know about the same species would not get a clear answer from the duped question or its answers. If there was some mention of same species not sharing the total distance in the original question, I'd say this question is a duplicate, but it doesn't, and from the question/answers it's not 100% certain that a user would discern that information. A second, clarifying question is acceptable, in my opinion, in this case.
    – Vemonus
    Nov 15, 2016 at 13:40
  • First, if an answer doesn't differentiate a certain scenario, you can safely assume that all scenarios are the same. Second, even if someone was still confused, rather than a new question, it could easily be a comment on the answer to the first question. Third, see this meta for discussion on editing an old answer so that is answers a newly asked questions, and then closing that as a duplicate. I see no problem with that. Nov 15, 2016 at 13:46
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    Firstly, that's completely false. There are exceptions to many "rules," and this question wanted to know if this was one. Secondly, not everyone reads comments to have other questions answered, so that's somewhat unreasonable to expect. Thirdly, I believe that editing an existing question in order to justify a dupe is bad-mannered as hell and would drive users away. The question didn't mention it to begin with, so don't alter it to satisfy your own desires.
    – Vemonus
    Nov 15, 2016 at 13:51
  • No, there is no reason to assume an exception exists. To say that comments are not meant to be read is totally ridiculous. I'd love to hear how improving an answer with information that turned out to be needed would drive users away and is "bad-mannered as hell". And for the last time, the question was not restricted to any scenario so please stop mentioning that. Nov 15, 2016 at 13:55

I would agree with you in this case. The wording of the title of the question is different, but the question is the same.

As far as your overall point, if the specific instance is answered within the broad scenario, it would be a duplicate.

There have been posts on META suggesting that asking a specific instance while the broad question does NOT contain the answer need to be left open.

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