Messenger etiquette: The trick to answering questions on WhatsApp

If you ever find yourself answering a question someone asked a few messages back, you may want to use the quote function to avoid confusing them. — Catherine Waibel/dpa

"When's Alex coming over? Did you pick up the cake? Will you be ready by 5pm?" Answering a series of questions in a comprehensible way in a fast-paced WhatsApp chat can be tricky.

The same goes when you refer back to a previous message but don't make that clear to the other person. Misunderstandings and confusion are just waiting to pounce in such situations.

Messenger app makers are trying to help us, however, with a handy trick: By swiping right (or, depending on your phone, left) on the old text you'd like to cite, you can then write new text, and they both will be sent to the person together.

This is at least the case with Signal, Telegram, Threema or WhatsApp on an Android device. The person reading the message won't have to look back to see what was asked. Confusion avoided.

If you'd like to respond even more quickly, you can also just send an emoji. For Signal, for example, just press the message you'd like to react to until a bar with a few emojis pops up.

Pick one out to let the other person know what you think. – dpa

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