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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 ...


17

"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 ...


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 ...


17

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 ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


9

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: ...


8

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 ...


8

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 ...


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 ...


7

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 ...


7

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 ...


6

"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 ...


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

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

"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

Etymonline is your best friend in this kind of situations: malevolent c.1500, from O.Fr. malivolent, from L. malevolentem (nom. malevolens) "ill-disposed, envious," from male "badly" + volentem (nom. volens), prp. of velle "to wish". malicious early 13c., from O.Fr. malicius "showing ill will," from L. malitiosus "wicked, malicious," from malitia ...


5

David Tennant as The Doctor speaks with an Estuary English accent David Tennant as David Tennant speaks with a 'Scottish' accent; since there's not single Scottish accent, that's not really a complete answer, but I can't place it since he was born near Edinburgh, but raised near Glasgow


4

In English, the family name is always given last (except in the case of transliterated names which confuse many people). In your example, "Bill" and "Henry" are his two given names; if you used only one given name, it would be the first one, "Bill". "Gates" is his family name. Thus, the following are correct: Bill H. Gates B. H. Gates B. Gates BHG ...


4

As reported by the New Oxford American Dictionary, to be going to means "to intend or be likely or intended to be or do something; be about to." I am going to be late for work. She is going to have a baby. Will and shall are used to express the future tense, and the following notes apply: The traditional rule in standard English is that shall is ...


4

reason most definitely can be countable: "give me five reasons why it isn't", but it can also be uncountable, "Reason is Man's greatest ally". Which are we dealing with? We can't quite pin it on without either; off the top of my head, "life is awful without friends" or "you can't do that without grounds to do so". To my ear, making reason plural is ...


4

I would say that "onerous" implies more of a mental difficulty, while "arduous" is a physical difficulty. Examples: That contract placed an onerous duty on me because I had to tabulate the reports every day. Moving the furniture upstairs was an arduous labour. However, the distinction is usually fairly transparent in context, so you can generally ...


4

Malevolent from Latin malevolens, from male ill + volens, present participle of velle to wish Malicious Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin malitia, from malus bad Both words mean bad, and are pretty much synonymous, but malevolent may have more of a feeling of potential evil smoldering within a person, while malicious could used to describe ...


4

I would say that English is in fact becoming easier to learn, because the pressure from the corpus of speakers is always toward simpler and more accessible communication, and the pushback from prescriptive linguistics on a number of points that have made "proper" English more difficult to learn (such as idiotic rules about how you should refuse to casually ...



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