Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In the context of foreign language grammar study, "sb." and "sth." serve as substitutions for "somebody" and "something", essentially telling readers that a person or thing can be placed in that part of the sentence.

  • Are there standard or common abbreviations in this similar form which mean "somewhere" or "sometime"?
  • Are there any other abbreviations belonging to this set of some- words?
share|improve this question

closed as not constructive by aedia λ, simchona, waiwai933 May 31 '12 at 0:26

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Those are completely opaque to native speakers, who are not used to sb. and sth. meaning what you seem to think they do. In grammars that I’m familiar with, for example, sb. means substantive. Please don’t use abbreviations. –  tchrist Mar 21 '13 at 23:27
    
@tchrist: I disagree. I think if I saw "sb." in an example like "I gave the ball to sb.", it wouldn't take much thinking to figure out that it means "somebody", and I would never in a million years guess that it was trying to be "substantive"; the latter is just not a word I'd ever abbreviate. –  Marthaª Mar 22 '13 at 0:44
    
@Marthaª The OED2 abbreviation list did indeed use “sb.” that way, and it is what I am used to. The OED3 abbreviation list changed all those “sb.” to “n.” instead. –  tchrist Mar 22 '13 at 1:45
add comment

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.