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29

This is not really a programming question. It is always true in English that when you say "A and B are true for X and Y respectively," you mean that A is true for X and B is true for Y. So to take your examples C# Textreader is another way to read a file and TextWriter is another way to write a file... I added a text box I called tbUpdate and ...


21

"Have had" is using the verb have in the present perfect tense. Consider the present tense sentence: I have a lot of homework. This means that I have a lot of homework now. On the other hand, we use the present perfect tense to describe an event from the past that has some connection to the present. Compare the following two sentences: I had ...


19

In informal usage, a "steep learning curve" means something that is difficult (and takes much effort) to learn. It seems that people are thinking of something like climbing a steep curve (mountain) — it's difficult and takes effort. As it is technically used, however, a learning curve is not anything to be climbed, and is simply a graph plotting learning ...


17

Why not ask your readers to help you with copy editing? Place a short, unobtrusive notice at the very top of every new blog post: English is not my native language. If anyone would like to help improve the grammar and clarity of this post, your suggestions and contributions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Then compare their suggestions to what ...


16

Which specific accent are you looking to improve? Like this website illustrates, there are many of them! provide an overview of the variety of the sounds of the English language on various levels: in time, with our transcriptions of historical ancestor forms of English, from present-day back to Late Modern English, Early Modern, Middle and Old ...


15

Always use an for words which sound like they start with a vowel, and always use a for words which sound like they start with a consonant. The rules for h are more complex, and it can be ok to use either. The usage of the indefinite article preceding h are discussed here. In particular, look at nohat's response. As for student and store, they should always ...


14

To me the difference lies in their origins. "Onerous" means "burdensome" - not necessarily difficult or physically hard, but unwelcome and required of one. (Maybe unpleasant, or just taking time away from other things) "Arduous" means "requiring effort". These may overlap in many cases, but to me are quite different.


13

Indeed, there are many options. My advice would be to always choose a film or series that is just above your level: that way you need to exert yourself and you learn the most. Pause and Google up any phrase that you do not understand. If you are interested in politics, I recommend Yes Minister, a British comedy series from around 1990. It is all about ...


12

First of all, frugal is not "mostly about food." Second, the differences between the words should be apparent from dictionary definitions, but in case they're not: Stingy and miserly are both pejorative. Frugal is usually used in a complimentary sense when applied to a person, and is neutral when describing an object (such as a "frugal meal"). Stingy is ...


11

One of the things that I usually do is to Google the exact phrase to see if native English speakers have used it before. For example sometimes you think you've heard someone saying an expression such as "your best bet is to", but you're not sure, then your best bet would be googling it, within the double quotes. And also there's this highly recommended ...


10

This phrase has a scientific basis (Wikipedia has information on its origin and scientific usage), but is most commonly used to indicate that something is difficult to learn. It refers to a person’s rate of progress in learning a new skill as it might be plotted on a graph. In this case it sounds like the computer program itself is difficult for beginners to ...


10

For an answer to this question, I will refer you to Jack Seward, who covers this topic specifically in his book Japanese in Action. Although he is talking about Japanese, the same things are true of any language, including English: To be accurately judged fluent in [a language], I believe a [non-native speaker] should have the following qualifications: ...


9

There aren’t any simple rules per se, and most people, when asked why you use one preposition over another in a particular case, will usually give an explanation by analogy with a more simple example. But it can be hard to invent these analogies if you don’t already know which word to use. Fortunately there is a good tool you can use when you are wondering ...


9

The following excerpt from howstuffworks.com gives some insight: The phrase "God bless you" is attributed to Pope Gregory the Great, who uttered it in the sixth century during a bubonic plague epidemic (sneezing is an obvious symptom of one form of the plague). The exchangeable term "gesundheit" comes from Germany, and it literally ...


8

Using will (or shall) is the proper way to form the actual future tense, and is completely generic. IT can be used in any case in which you wish to refer to the future. Going to + verb is a shortcut construct that is commonly used in many situations. It is typically used to express occurrences in the near-future. In many cases however, particularly in ...


8

Plural nouns with the definite article are, well, definite. Consider Cats don't like me. versus The cats don't like me. The former implies every cat on Earth doesn't like me; the latter, that some (contextually obvious) specific group of cats don't like me. ADDED In my opinion, yes, unmemorize that reference in your other question and memorize ...


8

Consulting etymologies may help you recognize and remember meanings; but you must not regard etymologies as constitutive of meaning. That is the etymological fallacy: The etymological fallacy is a genetic fallacy that holds, erroneously, that the present-day meaning of a word or phrase should necessarily be similar to its historical meaning. This is a ...


7

"I forgot" is the simple past, expressing an action which took place once. "I had forgotten" is is the simple past perfect, used to express an action taking place before a certain time in the past. This tense emphasizes what happened, not the duration thereof. "I had forgot" is generally considered bad grammar, at least in my part of the US, because the ...


7

This is about geographical perspective. If you are an American speaking about someone from France who now lives in America, that person is an immigrant (from France). If you are an American speaking about an American who now lives in France, that person is an emigrant (from America). Now, from the standpoint of the person you describe, it depends on how ...


7

Nearly all of the words can be used interchangeably for the gist of the intended meaning. However, there's a slight implication difference with regard to whether the intent is to be not generous, or not wanting to spend more than one has to. A stingy person is likely not to be considered to spend money to do something "nice" or "go along with the crowd" ...


6

In English, names are usually written in the format: [First given name] [family name], e.g.John O'Reilly Sometimes they are written: [First given name] [other given names] [family name], e.g.John Timothy O'Reilly When using initials, it is the same, e.g. J. O'Reilly, orJ.T. O'Reilly But it is also very common, in certain situations, e.g. ...


6

I would also add the BlackAdder series to this list.


6

Listening to something that has been narrated can be pretty effective. Like listening to a book on tape while actually following along with the print version. English tends to have an awful lot of nonsensical rules and pronunciations, so the best thing to do is to just plain immerse yourself in the language (listen to it).


5

"Agricultural/Rural Land owner" or just "Land owner" is also an alternative.


5

"Reason" is certainly a count noun. However, it is also a verb. In the sentence "She started laughing without reason" could mean either "she didn't have a reason to start laughing", or "she starting laughing without thinking about it." In the first example, it is a noun, in the second it is a verb. The most common way is to say "bla bla bla... without ...


5

The term used for a national living abroad, or a permanent resident of foreign origin, is often an "Expatriate" or expat. A person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing.



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