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I read this in the introduction of my chapter:

The chapter does not answer these question. It simply gives you the necessary information and some tools so that you can ask and answer these questions when you are through with this chapter

Is it implying "ask yourself" or "ask others"? I'm in this confusion because when you're through a chapter you know the answers to these questions, so why would you ask others them?

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The key to understanding is in:

you can ask and answer

which is the short form for:

you can ask and you can answer

Now it is obvious that you pretty much never ask others but answer yourself. Therefore, you ask (yourself) and you answer (yourself) those questions.


Another point of view from @Andrew (thank you):

Perhaps, but I would instead say that the intent is deliberately ambiguous. It doesn't matter if you "ask others" or "ask yourself" -- the point is that you ask, period. "Answer" is similarly vague, and can be interpreted to mean "get answers", or "provide your own answers".

  • Perhaps, but I would instead say that the intent is deliberately ambiguous. It doesn't matter if you "ask others" or "ask yourself" -- the point is that you ask, period. "Answer" is similarly vague, and can be interpreted to mean "get answers", or "provide your own answers". – Andrew Jul 17 at 16:50
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I have to disagree with virolino's answer. The phrase "ask and answer" is deliberately ambiguous. It's not explicitly stated who you are asking, and where the answers come from. Because this is a textbook, the entire point of the exercise is to learn how to ask the right questions, and find the answers to those questions.

You might ask yourself, and find the answers within. Or you might ask others, and get the answers from them. Or, you might figuratively ask the question by searching online or printed references, and get the answers that way. It doesn't matter, as long as you learn to enjoy the spirit of inquiry.

As with any language, sometimes the intended meaning of a sentence is not the same as the way you might first interpret it. We call this "reading between the lines", and it's an important part of becoming fluent in that language.

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