Questions that are useful for people learning English as a second language.

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5
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3answers
3k views

What does the word “respectively” mean in software development?

C# Textreader and TextWriter are the another way to read and write file respectively... I added a text box and button I called tbUpdate and btUpdate respectively... In the right hand column, ...
11
votes
3answers
18k views

“Bless you” & sneezing

Why do you say Bless you when people sneeze? Is there good reason or history? When someone sneeze, if I don't say Bless you, am I rude?
4
votes
4answers
881 views

Is English becoming easier or harder to learn? [closed]

As we all know, English is evolving. Constructs considered repugnant 100 years ago are widely-accepted today. Thousands of words in our vocabulary have fallen into disuse while thousands more have ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Pinpointing British accents

After having watched British TV and movies for a while, I came across several accents I liked. But I'm not completely sure what they are, so I need your help :) David Tennant as The 10th Doctor (...
4
votes
5answers
6k views

Pronunciation of “r”

How would you describe the pronunciation of r to somebody who speaks English as second language?
10
votes
1answer
30k views

Rule on absence of the article “the” with plural nouns [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Definite article with plural nouns I recently reviewed (as I believe, rather thoroughly) the rules of using articles in English and I do not recall any rule on absence of ...
12
votes
4answers
47k views

How would you define “Fluent” level in English?

Most of us heard about such levels as Beginner, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, Advanced. As I understand "Fluent" is the highest level when describing someone's English. But how would you ...
6
votes
11answers
2k views

Fun and enjoyable ways to practice pronunciation?

English is not my native language and I'm really proud of being able to write it quite well. I have lots of problems with pronunciation though. In Finnish most words are pronounced the same as they ...
6
votes
11answers
127k views

Good movies for learning English [closed]

Sometimes, I find it easier to learn so many English vocabulary and expressions and usage by watching movies. If you're a non-native English speaker, you probably noticed some of them that help you ...
1
vote
3answers
947 views

What do the parts of malevolent and malicious mean?

I understand what the different parts of maladjusted, maligned, and malcontent mean. But what about malevolent and malicious? Could someone break these into parts e.g. mal - adjust - ed and explain ...
20
votes
3answers
86k views

What is meant by “steep learning curve”?

What should I understand from "steep learning curve"? When a computer program (for example a translation program) has a steep learning curve, does it mean that it is not good at learning or it's hard ...
1
vote
1answer
689 views

Learning Phrasal verbs and idioms

I would like to learn about phrasal verbs and idioms in English.Which book(s) would you recommend for them?
9
votes
3answers
64k views

“Emigrant” vs. “immigrant”

While studying one word substitution I came across these two words, what I understood till now is like this: Emigrant: One who leaves his own country to reside to another. Immigrant: A person who ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the difference between “onerous” and “arduous”?

Is there any difference in the meaning of these words? Which one of them is used the most in everyday conversation? In my vocabulary for both words I've found essentially the same meaning: "difficult ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

English tools for non-English-speaking people

Could you recommend your reference English tools useful to improve your English every day? I constantly use: Wordreference for translations Google with double quotes to test if my sentences are ...
4
votes
1answer
17k views

What is the difference between “I forgot” and “I had forgot”?

I forgot versus I had forgot. What is the difference between the two phrases?
10
votes
5answers
7k views

When do I have to use 'will' instead of 'going to'?

Does going to only express an intention and will some kind of prediction that doesn't necessarily happen? EDIT: Thanks for all your answers. I asked this question because I always fail to complete ...
3
votes
2answers
460 views

Is there a general thesaurus for conceptual fields?

My question is about ways to find out about, or remind oneself of, related concepts. Say I'm writing an article and I'm stuck finding the right expression. I want to say that the author is confused ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

“a” or “an” for words that don't start with vowels but sound like they're starting with a vowel

Is it correct to say or write an student or an store?
3
votes
5answers
3k views
9
votes
7answers
10k views

“Without reason” or “Without reasons”?

Do we say "Without reason" or "Without reasons"? (e.g. She started laughing without (apparent) reason(s).). Is "reason" countable or not? Can we ever use a plural noun after "without"?
7
votes
3answers
16k views

Correct usage of ‘on’, ‘at’ and ‘in’ from a foreigner’s point of view

As a foreign English speaker who never really studied too much English grammar other than the basics at high school, I am often struggling to use the correct form in certain phrases. At being ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

In the format of A.B. Name, which is the given name and which is the family name?

For example, Bill Henry Gates, which of following is right? Bill H.Gates B.H. Gates H.G. Bill Gates Bill B. Gates H. Gates BHG HGB GHB
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Recommendations for non-native English speaking bloggers [closed]

What if someone who is not a native English speaker wants to write for a blog in English, but is not sure about the correctness of his writings? How could one ensure that the article won't annoy ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

Is there software that can determine whether I speak with a neutral accent?

I have a query regarding enhancing my accent. I am searching for software in which I speak a paragraph and it compares my speech to find out whether it is accent-free or not.