What is the term called when you answer a question with a question?

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8 Answers

  • A rhetorical question.

  • a “smart as* “

    no, I’m kidding.

    begging the question? Like I just did?

    A rhetorical question is a question that, when asked, does not really call for an answer, such as “Now, why didn’t I think of that?” or “How’d you get to be so smart?” So that’s not the answer. I’d say begging the question comes closest, but still not on the mark, because it usually means that the answer just adds more confusion to the original question, or demands more information from the original question. Oh well!

  • It depends on how it is used.

    1. Evasion-answering a question with a question can be a way of simply avoiding answering a question. Why do you ask?


    1. “rabbinic evasion” Historically, (and you can see biblical examples of this), when asked a direct question, rabbis would respond with more questions so that the asker would find his own answer.

    2. a teaching strategy – this is the rabbinic evasion technique, where a teacher responds to questions with leading questions, that help a student find a path toward a particular answer

    3. a learning strategy- this is a rabbinic evasion technique used introspectively in such a way that the asker finds internal answers. One of the simplest ways to do this is answer with “why?” As in:

    Why do you want to know? (because I had a question)

    Why? (because I heard you should question everything)

    Why? (because it is better to be critical and analytical?)

    Why? (because it is important to think for yourself)

    Why (because someday someone won’t be there to answer your questions for you…) etc…

    1. as a game. You can see them do this on “Whose line is it anyway.” It can be pretty difficult to do if you aren’t prepared, because most of the time, we’re wired to come up a concrete answer.
  • Some people call it rude and others just call it dodging the issue, I don’t refer to it in either of these two ways. But if you’re thinking of a term such as “rhetorical” (which it isn’t), I don’t think there is one.

  • Parrying

  • One-upmanship??

  • Like on Jeopardy? An answer that is questioned.

    Otherwise, all I can think of is a retort, or comeback.

    Source(s): A trivia book I read once; “On every Jeopardy show, (I forgot the number) answers are questioned.”
  • Question and answer.

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