There are four candidates to complete the following sentence.

While the questionnaire was voluntary, we were ______ to fill it out before leaving the plane.

(1) required (2) ordered (3) requested (4) forced

I'm not sure which one makes sense.

The following is my reasoning:

Even though the questionnaire was voluntary, someone begged us to fill the form out. In other words, we were not rigidly asked to do that, instead, somebody politely invited us to do that. So, I think the euphemistic expression is the better choice.

I think that (2) and (4) are the rude tones. Maybe (1) or (3) is acceptable. What do you think and why?

  • My reasoning: All are requested to fill it and those who volunteer will do the same. Required will make it mandatory. Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 10:12
  • 2
    While the "right" answer is presumably (3) because the other choices would mean that it's not voluntary, in real life I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the other choices used ironically. In fact, there's a slang word based on this ironic sense: voluntold.
    – user230
    Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 14:21
  • 1
    Thanks VijayaRagavan and snailboat. @snailboat I can pretty much understand what you are talking about. Voluntold is a good word. :)
    – eslsyc
    Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


Here, the answer will be : We were requested to fill it out before leaving the plane.

Reason lies in the question itself. The Question is ; While the questionnaire was voluntary.

Now, this word voluntary shows that it depends on the person's will whether to fill the questionnaire or not.

If we use other words such as : ordered, forced or required then they make the task mandatory which is not the case here.

We can only request someone to do the voluntary task. No one can be forced to do it and if anyone is forced then that task is not voluntary.

  • 1
    Thank you for all your assistance. "We can only request someone to do the voluntary task," I got it.
    – eslsyc
    Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 15:16
  • @eslsyc : My pleasure..
    – Sweet72
    Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 15:21

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