What do you call a question that has correct or incorrect answer?


What is your age?

Person can give correct or incorrect answer to this.

What do you think about global warming?

Can have answer but cannot categorised in correct or incorrect.

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  • Figure out what these are in your own language, then translate. English has no special property here that other languages lack. – tchrist Sep 18 '16 at 16:30
  • The following post is relevant: <english.stackexchange.com/questions/194443/…>. – Richard Kayser Sep 19 '16 at 2:28
  • @vallabh joshi:  IMHO, “What do you think about global warming?” is a bad example.  If you ask Joe that question, and he answers, then he has given a correct or incorrect answer to the question What does he think?  I suggest that “How severe is the global warming problem?” and “What should be done about global warming?” are better examples of what you seem to be asking about. – Scott Sep 21 '16 at 4:36

What do you call a question that has correct or incorrect answer?

I call it a factual question.

Factual questions require fact-based answers. There is only one correct answer, which can be verified by referring to the text or other learning materials.


As evident from the word ‘factual’, this type of questions requires you to retrieve facts given in the passage. Examples are who, what, where, when, how and why questions.


  • Is a math question (which could be quite complex and have a definite answer) a factual question? – Richard Kayser Sep 19 '16 at 2:23
  • @RichardKayser That's a good question. Depending on how you define fact and mathematics, you could justify both yes and no answers (which means that your question is definitely not factual). Let me remind you that not so long ago the existence of God was generally accepted to be an indisputable fact. – michael.hor257k Sep 19 '16 at 5:00
  • According to Nietzsche, there are no facts, only interpretations ... There's not much that isn't disputable. :-) – Richard Kayser Sep 19 '16 at 5:21
  • @RichardKayser - there are computational math questions. You might do pages of calculations to get the answer. You might even need to write a computer program and use a complex algorithm to get there. But then you can probably demonstrate that your solution works. For example, plug it into the original equation and show that you don't end up with a contradiction such as 5 = 0. Then there are problem-solving questions -- you'll need some logic for these. There are constructions. There is existence and uniqueness proofs. Etc.etc. It's all a lot of fun but I think irrelevant to this thread. – aparente001 Sep 19 '16 at 6:53
  • @aparente001 The question is equally valid with regard to how much is 1 + 2? – michael.hor257k Sep 19 '16 at 8:04

Close-ended questions are those which can be answered by a simple "yes" or "no" [etc] while open-ended questions are those which require more thought and more than a simple one-word answer.


  • I unintentionally downvoted your answer. I can't change -1 to +1 unless you edit it. Sorry. – Richard Kayser Sep 19 '16 at 3:05
  • @RichardKayser - see if that helped. – aparente001 Sep 19 '16 at 6:48
  • @aparente001 Perfect. Thanks! Much appreciated. – Richard Kayser Sep 19 '16 at 23:32
  • I disagree.  OP is asking about fact-based questions versus opinion-based questions.  The YourDictionary definition page that you cite lists these examples of close-ended questions: “Is the prime rib a special tonight?” (which is fact-based) and “Should I date him?” (which is opinion-based). And here are some examples of open-ended questions: “How did you and your best friend meet?” (which is fact-based) and “What is the matter with the people in that class?” (which is opinion-based). So your answer is orthogonal to the OP’s question. – Scott Sep 21 '16 at 4:37
  • I don't think many serious people would answer "Should I date him?" with a one-word answer – they would put forward pros and cons, thus interpreting this question as open-ended. I consider that there is a large overlap rather than orthogonality. English terminology is rarely well-defined. // Also, you yourself find fault with OP's example. I suspect that he is actually not aware of the interesting problem you raise: I'd ask the deeper question in a separate post if I were you. Though I suspect that terminology is not well-defined enough to handle it. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 21 '16 at 10:47

In the study of logic, the term for something like that would be predicate. From Wikipedia

Informally, a predicate is a statement that may be true or false depending on the values of its variables.

Either the answer given is true, or false, so the question with answer is a predicate.

  • The OP isn’t asking about questions that can be answered true or false; he’s asking about questions for which the statement “X is a correct answer to that question” is definitively either true or false.  The OP gives the example “What is your age?”, which clearly cannot be answered true or false, but can be answered truthfully or falsely — in contrast to questions about global warming, which is a contentious subject that gives rise to opinionated statements. – Scott Sep 21 '16 at 4:35
  • @Scott I know. The question with the answer is a statement that can be true or false e.g. "What is your age: 35" - is either true or false. I understand that this isn't exactly what he asked for, but since it may prove useful I added it as an answer. – user43453 Sep 21 '16 at 10:26

Common words for these concepts are objective and subjective:



      based on facts rather than feelings or opinions : not influenced by feelings

  the Cambridge English Dictionary:

      not influenced by personal beliefs or feelings; fair or real:
      an objective opinion

  Oxford Dictionaries:

      (of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
      ‘historians try to be objective and impartial’



      based on feelings or opinions rather than facts

  the Cambridge English Dictionary:

      influenced by or based on personal beliefs or feelings, rather than based on facts:
      Whether something is objectionable is a subjective question.

  Macmillan Dictionary:

      based on your own feelings and ideas and not on facts.  Something that is based on facts is objective.      The assessment of a student’s work is often subjective.

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