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

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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?
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
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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
5answers
6k views

Pronunciation of “r”

How would you describe the pronunciation of r to somebody who speaks English as second language?
11
votes
4answers
5k views

A dictionary based on word occurrence frequencies

Since there are so many language resources on the internet nowadays, I was wondering if there is an online dictionary(or any other language tool) that would list the words not only in the alphabetical ...
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 ...
6
votes
7answers
4k views

Stingy, miserly and frugal: what is the difference in usage?

Could you please provide an example sentence for each adjective so that to show a situation when only one of the adjectives may be used while the others may not? The thing that confuses me most is ...
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?
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?
1
vote
2answers
277 views

English books reading complexity ratings

Is there some rating for book regarding how hard they are to read for foreigners? Or the way to figure out how more difficult is book A than book B? I have begun reading "All The King's Men" and ...
0
votes
1answer
132 views

How to guess/divine definitions from etymology?

I've been using the word 'intuition' to characterise such questions, of which I've asked many, so I'd like to learn or be enlightened about the general methodology. Is there a formal term? ...