We may have been asked a question that does not have an answer before. However, we may have not been aware of a term that describes a question with no apparent answer. Therefore, this article will be going over appropriate terms we can use to express this dilemma.
What Can I Call A Question That Doesn’t Have An Answer?
If you’re presently unaware of what term you can use to describe a question with no answer, don’t worry! This article will be highlighting the following alternative terms that we can appropriately use:
- A Rhetorical Question
- An Open-Ended Question
- A Conundrum
- An Insoluble Question
- A Dilemma
- A Loaded Question
- A Fallacy
- A Nonsensical Question
- An Invalid Question
- A Trick Question
The preferred version that we will look at is “a rhetorical question.” This is because “a rhetorical question” is one that does not require an answer or merely cannot be answered by someone. Therefore, this is the type of question that will never have an appropriate answer.
A Rhetorical Question
Cambridge Dictionary defines “a rhetorical question” as a question, asked in order to make a statement, that does not expect an answer. Therefore, when we are asked or ask someone a rhetorical question, we will not be receiving the answer, nor is there one that is appropriate to give.
This is often a question that is asked to make a broad statement or point and at the same time, generally has a dramatic effect.
Here are a few examples of some rhetorical questions:
- Why do these things always seem to happen to me?
- If practice makes perfect and no one is perfect, then why do we practice?
- Does a bear poop in the woods?
An Open-Ended Question
Cambridge Dictionary defines “open-ended” as an activity or situation that does not have a planned ending, so it may develop in several ways. Therefore, we consider “an open-ended question” to be one that is posed without a presently possible answer of merely “yes” or a “no”.
This is an answer that will take consideration, time and a thorough explanation when we are ready to give it.
Here are some examples of a few open-ended questions:
- How do you see your future ending up?
- How do you feel about your company’s overall customer service?
- Do you think that product you just purchased is going to be useful in the long run?
Cambridge Dictionary defines “a conundrum” as a problem that is difficult to deal with or a question that is a trick. Therefore, when we consider a posed question to be “a conundrum”, we express that an answer is immensely difficult to come up with or may not be possible to formulate.
Often, “a conundrum” causes us a lot of confusion. This is because we are often caught between attempting to come up with an appropriate answer, and also believing that one may not exist.
We will now go over some examples using this term:
- He asked me if I could figure out childcare for the kids since we are both working over the holidays and I told him that was a conundrum.
- He was asking me questions that often came across as brain teasers or complete conundrums.
- I felt like it was a trick question, but he kept stating that it was merely a conundrum.
An Insoluble Question
Cambridge Dictionary defines “insoluble” as a problem that is so difficult that it is impossible to solve. Unfortunately, when we are asked a question that we consider to be “insoluble”, we cannot fathom an appropriate answer. Often, this is because an answer genuinely does not exist.
“Insoluble questions” are commonly known to not have an appropriate answer, so much the time, we are skeptical as to why someone would ask one in the first place.
Here are a few examples of insoluble questions:
- What existed before the universe?
- What came first, the chicken or the egg?
- Where does the future come from and can it be altered?
Cambridge Dictionary defines “a dilemma” as a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two different things you could do. Therefore, we consider a question that involves “a dilemma” to often involve two incredibly difficult choices, with equally undesirable results.
We often refer to “a dilemma” as a moral dilemma. This is because generally, a dilemma requires us to make a very difficult decision, often between two people we love, things we need, etc.
Here are a few examples showcasing this particular term:
- The president is clearly questioning this dilemma and how he is going to deal with the present ongoing crisis.
- She faces the dilemma of choosing between her father’s approval and losing the man that she considers to be the love of her life.
- He posed a question to her, that she considered being a moral and ethical dilemma.
A Loaded Question
Cambridge Dictionary defines “a loaded question” as a question that has particular words chosen to suggest the answer that is wanted. Therefore, we often consider “a loaded question” to be one in which we can give an answer, but it isn’t the one that we would choose to give.
“A loaded question” is a form of a complex question that contains a controversial question. This is generally considered to be a form of entrapment, as we are not allowing someone the opportunity to think or come up with their true answer. We are tricking them into giving two answers at once.
Here are a few examples of some loaded questions:
- Have you finally stopped cheating on your examinations?
- Have you always been a raging alcoholic?
- Have you stopped mistreating your children and your wife?
Cambridge Dictionary defines “a fallacy” as an idea that a lot of people think is true but is in fact false. Therefore, when we have posed a question from the basis of “a fallacy”, this is often a question that is entirely based on an incorrect opinion or information.
“A fallacy” question is another form of a question that often comes off as very confusing to the audience. This is because the question came come across as meaningless or backwards.
Here are a few examples of questions in the form of “a fallacy”:
- Isn’t blue technically a bad colour because it is linked to sadness?
- Aren’t women known to be worse drivers than men?
- Don’t people always get sick in the winter because of the cold temperatures?
A Nonsensical Question
Cambridge Dictionary defines “nonsensical” as silly or stupid. Therefore, we often consider “a nonsensical question” to be one that makes no sense and because of this, we are not able to formulate an appropriate answer. At the same time, we may not be able to fully understand the question.
At the same time, we can occasionally consider “a nonsensical question” to be one that is meant to provoke thought, as opposed to requiring an answer.
Here are a few examples of some nonsensical questions:
- If animals could talk, which species would be the rudest of them all?
- Would you rather own a dog the size of an elephant or an elephant the size of a dog?
- Should I just tell my parents that I am adopted?
An Invalid Question
Cambridge Dictionary defines “invalid” as an opinion, argument, etc., that is not correct, usually because it is not logical or not based on correct information. Therefore, we often consider “an invalid question” to be a question that assumes or presumes something as a fact when that something is not true.
It’s often that “an invalid question” comes across to audiences as making absolutely no sense because of the fact that it is baseless or without fact. This is generally a question that we will not be able to come up with an answer for.
Here are a few examples of some entirely invalid questions:
- Did you know that elephants love the snow? They find it so amusing!
- Did you know that women often wish that they could be men?
- Did you know that dogs, when they are healthy, can live up to 35 years of age?
A Trick Question
Cambridge Dictionary defines “a trick question” as a question that makes you believe you should answer it in a particular way when the real question is hidden or there is no right answer. Therefore, we often consider “a trick question” to be deceptive in nature.
“A trick question” is one that is intended to make someone give a specific answer that is not correct or can cause immense difficulty to a particular relationship. At the same time, “a trick question” may be considered merely for fun or as a brain puzzle.
Here are a few examples of a few trick questions:
- What can easily be broken, but can never be held?
- Do you agree with cheating in a marriage and when is the last time you’ve done this?
- What gets wetter the more that it dries?
- I am a room with no walls, windows or doors – what am I?
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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.