If you ask a “question on” does it mean the same as a “question regarding” or a “question about”? What are the differences in meaning when you choose each of the propositions? Let’s look closer at how they are used, and why.
Question About vs. Question On vs. Question Regarding
If you ask a “question on” something, you are usually referring to a field of study or a specific topic. While, when you ask a “question about” or a “question regarding” you may be inquiring regarding the actual subject matter, or posing a question more loosely connected to that subject.
The phrases “question about” and “question regarding” are almost synonymous, although “question regarding” is a more formal speech pattern and usually refers to a narrower subject field than “question about”. So, in most cases, a “question about” and a “question regarding” are interchangeable.
When you ask a “question about” something, it can be the actual topic, or anything related. So, it covers a broad range. For example, you could ask a “question about” the course on Italian Artists, which could be about artists from Italy, or about when the course starts.
Here are some examples to show how “question about” can be used in a sentence:
- He asked a “question about” the techniques they would learn in the “Yoga for Beginners” class.
- She was keen to join “Yoga for Beginners” so that she could ask her questions about the origins of yoga.
- If you have a question about the fees for the “Yoga for Beginners” course, please contact the course leader directly.
- They wanted to ask a question about the possibility of enrolling in a yoga course.
- The safety representative wanted to ask a question about the fire regulations in place in the building.
- The Adult Education Centre is open on Saturdays. Do visit us if you have a question about courses available this season.
A “question on” is used when we are referring to a particular branch of study, field of expertise, or recognized topic. You would not use this phrase to ask about something loosely connected to the subject, for example where to study the subject.
Here are some examples of when you would use “question on” in a sentence:
- The science paper included a tricky question on the second law of thermodynamics.
- He was invited to answer questions on “The Influence of Cinema on Post-War Culture”.
- To pass the music exam, she was required to answer a question on Music Theory and a question on The Life of Mozart.
- She hoped that no one would ask her a question on Motorsport, as it was not her field of expertise.
- The government spokesperson successfully avoided the question on fishing quotas.
- Before sitting her driving test, she was required to answer twenty questions on road safety and regulations.
To ask a “question regarding” something, you are looking for similar information to when you use “question about”, but often the information will be more specific. For example, you could ask a general “question about tuition fees” but follow with a “question regarding” the cost of tuition fees”.
More formal than “about”, “regarding” is used when more precise or accurate data is requested. That means that a “question regarding” is more likely to appear in a formal setting such as a police investigation or a public inquiry.
Here are some ways to use a “question regarding” in a sentence:
- May I ask a question regarding the deadline for the payment of tuition fees for the course next month?
- The new football stadium is impressive, but I would like to ask a question regarding parking in the vicinity on match days.
- We are delighted to hear about the 97% delivery rate, but could we ask a question regarding the expected completion date for the remainder?
- The police asked him a question regarding his whereabouts on the night of the robbery last December.
- They have been unable to answer the question regarding how the vehicle came to be damaged.
Question Related To
A “question related to” something can concern the actual subject or be very loosely connected to the subject. So, it can be used to drill down on specific information or to link to other information connected to the topic. Its use is quite formal.
Asking a “question related to” something is an effective way to link your inquiry to a topic discussed previously or to place your question in a general category, such as Finance or Transport so that it may be addressed to the person or department best equipped to answer it.
Here’s how a “question related to” can be used in some example sentences:
- The police officer was anxious to ask him a question related to his service in his previous employment.
- After the fascinating presentation on butterflies, the lecturer was asked a question related to the model of camera he used to take the photographs.
- She then asked a more specific question related to the study requirements for the course.
- A complicated question related to technique was put to the teacher by an advanced student.
- The team leader refused to answer questions related to the confidential research project until official permission had been granted.
- All questions related to Quantum Theory were later directed to the Head of the Physics department.
Which Phrase Is Used The Most?
With reference to the Google Ngram Viewer, statistics show that “question on” is used more often than either a “question regarding” or a “question related to”. However, by far the most frequently- occurring phrase of the four is a “question about”.
This is not surprising, as a “question about” can be used in such a broad range of applications and can replace each of the other phrases; “question on”, “question regarding” and “question related to”.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.