So I had a question regarding the types of queries. For example, when we ask a question or do a Google search we could do it in two ways:

  1. "house prices in Boston"
  2. "What are the house prices in Boston?"

As you can see, the two queries are essentially asking the same thing. However, the first one is based on keywords and the second one is in a proper question format.

Is there a formal term denoting the second one? In my field of natural language processing many people refer to them as "natural questions," but that sounds a bit awkward to me.


  • One's a phrase, one's a sentence or question. Doesn't seem awkward to me. – curiousdannii Apr 17 '20 at 4:04
  • It just seemed awkward because both of them are technically "queries." Perhaps "sentence query" would be the most accurate then – Seankala Apr 17 '20 at 4:09
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    "query" isn't a linguistic term. It's a software term for what you input into a search engine. – curiousdannii Apr 17 '20 at 4:10
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    I'd call the first one a topic search and the second one a question search. – rchivers Apr 17 '20 at 14:38

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