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

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3
votes
3answers
5k 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?
6
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
118k views

When is it necessary to use “have had”?

I have read few sentences which has "have had". I would like to know in what kind of situations we will have to use this?
6
votes
11answers
89k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
19k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
49k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
21k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
11k 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?
3
votes
0answers
525 views

What's the best resource for improving everyday speaking? [closed]

I'm having a job interview in a month. My writing, reading and listening are good. However, I have weak conversation skills. I need an efficient resource to improve my speaking. Any resource is ...
10
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
5
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 ...
4
votes
5answers
4k views

Pronunciation of “r”

How would you describe the pronunciation of r to somebody who speaks English as second language?
3
votes
2answers
377 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
8k 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?
3
votes
3answers
321 views

Is it possible to learn English by just listening and speaking (without knowing formal grammar rules) [closed]

My native language is Chinese. Most people in my country grow up without having been taught formal grammar. I am surprised to find foreigners being taught Chinese and learning grammar rules that even ...
3
votes
0answers
786 views

The best book/books for self-education [closed]

My level is intermediate or upper-intermediate. I have speaking practice several times per week with native speaker(she is not teacher). I write short essays and my friends help me to check it. I read ...
1
vote
0answers
1k views

“Yor first bookshelf” for a non-native speaker [closed]

I have a question of somewhat different kind, not grammar related but rather about learning English in general. I am learning English mostly from reading books. But my choice of books is quite ...
1
vote
1answer
645 views

What are the pros and cons of learning English from movies and radio? [closed]

I dedicate one to two hours each day to learning English. I'm focusing on listening and speaking (and improving my accent, of course). I want to know what the pros and cons are of learning English ...
1
vote
1answer
527 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
votes
2answers
82 views

What is the word pronounced at 0:48 in this video? [closed]

In this video, there is a word that I try manage to guess (I'm french), but in vain. At 0:47, he says: "there is this X that all software developers are the same." What is X? I understand that the ...