What Is An Ambiguous Question?


3 Answers

Robin Burden Profile
Robin Burden answered
An ambiguous question is one where the meaning of the question - or the intended answer - is unclear, or indecipherable.

There can be a couple of reasons why a question may appear ambiguous.

What's an ambiguous question?
The most common example of an ambiguous question is a situation where there is more than one possible interpretation of what the question might mean.

Sometimes this is due to the structuring of the actual sentence. In other instances, the vocabulary or words chosen can have several different meanings (thus creating confusion).

Finally, many ambiguous questions seem unclear because they rely on external context. When this is absent, a question's meaning can become difficult to understand.

Here's a few examples of ambiguous questions:
  • "Where's the running train time?" - This is an example of poor grammar making it impossible to figure out exactly what the person asking the question wants to know.
  • "What does mean mean?" This question is ambiguous because of the word choice. The term 'mean' can have several definitions - and using them both in the question complicates matters unnecessarily.
  • Questions like "What's the point?" are also unclear because they rely on information that isn't conveyed in the question. 

Tanja Profile
Tanja answered
An ambiguous question is a question that can have double meanings. For example, "Did you see the girl with the telescope?".

The two possible meanings are: "Were you holding the telescope to see the girl?" or "did you see the girl that was holding the telescope?".
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I think it's either a question which could have several meanings or a question in which there could be several answers.

Answer Question