Here is a question that is not well posed in my opinion: Can somone give me one or more sentences using 'acabar de'?

OP went fishing in Google Translate for the vocabulary he needed to write a sentence, which was supposed to demonstrate the usage of a particular expression which, as the answerer wrote, "is semantically dubious" -- and I'm not even sure for what purpose. To create a practice exercise for himself? To create a lesson for other students?

Regardless, he's going about things ass backwards, and I don't think we should support that by contributing answers.

If OP wants to know whether "acabar de" can be used in the way he's imagining, that is a question we can answer, and then I think it's fine to contribute answers.

If OP is finding that dictionaries and other resources are not sufficient to figure out a good way of expressing the concept of "rude/impolite" in Spanish, he can show what he has attempted so far, and ask for help; and then we can help him.

I know we're a small site hoping to bring in more participants, but let's be a little choosier about the questions we answer. Or at least let's edit the question into better shape before we answer.

(I wish there were a "pregunta-de-mala-calidad" tag.)

  • I agree with you that it was a low-quality question. I only answered it because I found it interesting and useful, perhaps to other forum members, to explain why I thought the sentence didn't work.
    – Gustavson
    Aug 22, 2017 at 1:28
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    I forgot to mention I was, more than anything else, encouraged by the doubt expressed by @walen (one of our most valued members), which was quite legitimate.
    – Gustavson
    Aug 22, 2017 at 1:40
  • I've updated the question to something I hope is more suitable. I'm sure you'll let me know. Thanks for the feedback. Aug 22, 2017 at 2:13
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    @RockAnthonyJohnson You did a good job. The question now sounds more reasonable. You introduced a small but essential change. Well done!
    – Gustavson
    Aug 22, 2017 at 3:30
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    -1. I reject your opinion that I am going about things 'ass backwards'. I have thick skin and therefore take very little offense. But if you are 'hoping to bring in more participants' as you say, perhaps you can refrain from being a Stack-Nazi, but rather be more polite, as others may indeed take great offense. Aug 22, 2017 at 4:38
  • @Gustavson - I agree with you that it was a low-quality question. I only answered it because.... I can understand that. Still, I hope you'll consider editing the question, suggesting the question be edited, or posing your own well-formulated question in situations like these, before diving in. Aug 23, 2017 at 1:01
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    @aparente001 There are both good and bad askers and answerers. Having been a teacher for around 40 years, I've got used to "reading" my students' minds even if they don't ask the best question. I know this is not my class, but I find it hard to keep people waiting if I know the answer to what I know they are actually asking.
    – Gustavson
    Aug 23, 2017 at 1:08
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    @Gustavson - That's great! But I think it's okay to edit someone else's question. When you're able to intuit what they want to know, and you have the kindness and time to help them fix up the question, that is a civic-minded thing to do. Aug 23, 2017 at 2:20

2 Answers 2


TL;DR You make a valid general point, and that's what flagging is for; but the question you linked is (IMO) not a valid example, nor deserving of such a harsh critic.

First, re: the question you linked.

As I said in @RockAnthonyJohnson's post:

I don't get where all the criticism is coming from. OP used a verbal construction, and a native speaker said it was incorrect without saying why, so OP came here to ask about the reason. It cannot be more on-topic than that.

That is OP's account of the facts and I wouldn't dare to call them a liar.
It's true that the title was bad, but come on -- it's not the first time that a legitimate question has a rather shitty title.

And what was that about Google Translate again? We're forbidding users from using online translators now? What are users supposed to use as a first translation resource, then? Duolingo?

Honestly, this animosity towards this particular post has struck me as very unusual, especially coming from a seasoned user like you, aparente001.

Sentences like these:

OP went fishing in Google Translate for the vocabulary [citation needed], by the way

he's going about things ass backwards

If OP had any questions about what "rude" means, I think you gave them a really good example with the above.

Now, re: not replying to low quality (LQ) questions.

I agree that it'd be better for LQ questions to be enhanced before posting an answer.
This is encouraged by the existence of the "edit & answer"-type badges, too.

However, what to someone (e.g. you) seems like a LQ question, to somebody else (e.g. Gustavson) it might seem like a question good enough to deserve an answer, even if some editing is also needed.

Hence why the voting process to put a question "on hold" exists.
If enough people find a question to be of really LQ, and flag it as such, it will be put "on hold", which means exactly what you want: do not accept answers to this question until it is edited to be of enough quality.

If not enough people agree with your POV about the LQ of the question, you can always edit the question yourself, or leave a kind comment to OP explaining what you find lacking and asking them to enhance the question.

But commenting other users' answers telling them NOT to answer a question because you find it to be low quality is, IMO, not the way to go (and I'm being kind here).


Actually, it is a good thing there is no "pregunta-de-mala-calidad" tag, since it would be up to just one user to tag the question like that, but it takes some consensus to close a question (except for the moderator's binding vote).

I think that you are right. I can understand that the lack of questions and opportunity to write an answer might motivate some users to answer badly posed questions. Other might want to help, and the comment format might not be the appropriate format (due to lack of space).

As with new users posting comments as answers just because they don't ave enough rep to comment, I think this abuses the system a little bit. After all, it is up to us as a community to encourage the kind of (quality) questions and answers we want to have here.

I agree that in these cases users need to know what is wrong with their questions via comment. Users also could use their privileges to vote to close and downvote (I encourage to revert the downvote once the question gets fixed).

I encourage users to make use of the chat (another piece of functionality that we have in the stack) as a tool for those times that comment might seem limited to communicate with a user but posting an answer might no be the appropriate way of addressing the problem.

  • That makes a lot of sense. I'd remove my last paragraph (in parentheses) except then your answer would be hanging in space, disconnected to anything. Aug 22, 2017 at 19:29

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