Does a duplicate question by definition not mean that the answers for that question already exist? The marking even says:

This question already has an answer here:

Looking at the questions on the stack right now, I am taking this question as an example:
How to encourage or triggers others to help me when everyone seems busy with their task
Even if it was answered before being marked as duplicate, don't we want to delete answers to questions which we mark as duplicate? If not, what's the point of marking a question as duplicate? Wouldn't it make more sense to mark it as

'hey other answers to a similar question here:'

  • 1
    Even if it was answered before being marked as duplicate this is always the case; once a question is closed (or put on hold), no new answers can be added.
    – yoozer8
    Nov 21 '13 at 17:50

If there are answers they pre-date the question being marked as a duplicate, as Jim said in a comment. If the answers are useful we shouldn't delete them, nor penalize people who answered a question in good faith.

Sometimes the questions can be merged so all the answers end up in one place, but this eliminates the "signpost" of the duplicate. So if one of the questions is not different enough to provide a different search path -- if the questions are asked very similarly, or if one of them is just not very good -- then merger can be an answer. But if we want the signpost, then unfortunately there's no way to move answers while leaving the question in place. Editing the other question to add a back-pointer to the other answers would be useful in that case.


Please consider the following:

  1. Question closure isn't final in the sense that these questions can be reopened.
  2. Questions get closed when either a moderator or five SE members vote to close the question. But votes are just votes. They're a manifestation of someone's opinion; and they shouldn't preclude the OP from marking an answer as the accepted answer, especially in light of the fact that the question can be reopened.

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