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This question also has an answer here (in Ukrainian):
Чи є відмінності у вживанні слів "запитання" та "питання"?

Google translate lists each as an alternate translation of the word "question." I've noticed that "запитання" is used in our tag descriptions. Each word seems to be based around the same root, but how do the prefixes alter its meaning?

  • I'm adding a header, according to a discussion on Meta – bytebuster Apr 13 '17 at 5:34
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    Also some language learners may misheard/misunderstand Ukrainian питати (to ask) as Russian пытать (to torture [somebody]) – Віталій Нечеса Apr 19 '17 at 20:20
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First off — many, really many Ukrainian speakers do mix up питання and запитання (I do, in favor of a shorter one). So arguably, a language learner should not worry about making a mistake with these two words as well.

Basically, питання is problem, запитання is question, запит is inquiry (official request).

However,

  • counter-intuitively, the question mark ("?") is знак питання, not знак запитання;
  • never use {за}питати запитання for "to ask a question"; use ставити запитання (or поставити for perfective aspect);
  • for питання, as in "to raise a problem", use verb підняти питання or порушити питання;

The linked question in Ukrainian contains all necessary dictionary links.

  • Also in many cases "to ask a question" is just "запитати": "I want to ask you a question: ..." - "Хочу тебе запитати: ...". – Artemix Apr 13 '17 at 7:33
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To clarify the bytebuster's answer, питання and запитання are not disjoint.

Питання is a hyperonym of запитання (i.e. питання has all the meanings that запитання has with some additional ones; you can always substitute the word запитання in a text with the word питання, but substituting питання with запитання is only sometimes eligible). When Ukrainians use питання for "question" — it is not a mistake (still it is not the most accurate word for that).

In short:

  • запитання — question;
  • питання — question, problem/issue, matter;
  • запит — inquiry (usually official or technical; e.g. official inquiry to state government or inquiry to database system).

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