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There are no stupid questions - and yours is a good one!
The newer Li-Ion cell phone batteries do not have "memory", so partial charges or "topping off" a charge do not have the same effect as with the older NiMh or NiCad batteries (and there is debate over the NiMh memory effect as well, but that's another topic!) Yes, you can use the phone with a partial charge.
It's probably better to fully charge the phone each night, or every other night if it gets you through two days. If, like my BB, it lasts about a day and a half, just charge it each night, so you start each day with a full charge.
And I do use my phone when it is on the charger if I have to; I've heard advice both ways (it's ok and don't do it!)