Which one would you prefer: "quick question" or "short question" for a question that you know is simple and will only take a moment to answer? Or maybe "simple question"? The problem I have with "quick question" is that I don't think a question may be "quick", because it is not moving anywhere.

  • I'll just make one quick point. I think this is an off-topic pedantic peeve. Nov 17 '12 at 1:54
  • The question needs to be improved to show research effort. Voting to close for now.
    – MetaEd
    Nov 17 '12 at 17:21

What any of us might prefer is immaterial. A short question is one that contains only a few words. A quick question is one which the questioner hopes, perhaps unrealistically, can be readily dealt with. Quick has many meanings, and they are certainly not limited to describing a fast-moving object.

  • 1
    A quick question, alas, is no guarantee of a quick answer, nor short.
    – tchrist
    Nov 16 '12 at 17:14
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    @tchrist: Hence my parenthetical comment. Nov 16 '12 at 17:17
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    To clarify for those who may not have picked up on the nuances of this answer: Both short questions and quick questions can be asked quickly. But when the asker expects the answer to also be quick, we call this a quick question. Example: "Are you busy right now?" When a short question is likely to require more serious thought or a longer answer, we tend not to describe it as quick. Example: "What is love?"
    – John Y
    Nov 16 '12 at 21:07

In everyday usage . . .

"Quick question?"

is a common expression and is a way for the asker to indicate to the askee that they are asking for a brief moment of their time - implying an "interruption" for a question but that by its brevity, should not take too much of their time.

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    I agree with this one. Also, in certain circumstances, it might also be called quick because it relates to the context currently in discussion (and therefore, it will be easy for the listener to answer) and hence, may lose its importance or impact if it is not asked right there and then.
    – Mohit
    Nov 17 '12 at 11:01

Quick, short and simple are all correct but mean different things. Quick just refers to it lasting a short time. A short question has few words and a simple question has little complexity.


"I have quick question" invariably is a clue to me the questioner doesn't understand that the answer will be long and involved. In fact, in my experience, "just a quick question" is an excuse to interrupt.

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