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Questions tagged [esl]

English as a Second Language

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Is there any difference in meaning in the sentence "he doesn't have a house in which to sleep" and "he doesn't have a house to sleep in" [duplicate]

Is the first sentence even grammatically correct? It just sounds weird to me.
Eduardozzz's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
98 views

What tense should be used for the verb "film"? Why? [closed]

I was presented with this question on a test paper: _______(film) in various parts of China, Unexplored Land presents the great diversity of China's ecosystem and throws fresh light on the concept of ...
WH22's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
129 views

Why would a Burmese native prefer "alight from a bus" over "get off a bus"?

I recently read a script written in English by a Burmese native and it struck me as odd that they always used the phrase "they alighted from a bus" instead of the ordinary "they got off ...
eltomito's user avatar
  • 1,620
0 votes
1 answer
48 views

Can you use “if past, then past”?

Is it possible to use the past simple in the result-clause of the 2nd conditional? Is it possible to say: If I had enough money, I bought a car.
Hassan Mukdad's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
117 views

Which one is correct "John is in the third" or "John is in the third place"? [closed]

If I want to ask someone in the picture, like 'Where's John?' or 'Which one is john?' which answer should it be?
Mona Muna's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can someone respond to a question by just saying "I´ll" instead of "I will"? Why or why not? [duplicate]

My friend keeps on responding to questions by just saying "I´ll". This doesn´t seem grammatically correct to me. However I would like to know what would be the proper use of that contraction....
Arlen Cornejo's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
110 views

Dropping articles: "I have a little brother and little sister." - is this correct? [closed]

I teach ESL online through a company which provides materials. One sentence given is "I have a little brother and little sister." When I read this aloud to the student, I automatically added ...
Rob's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
0 answers
35 views

Meaning of 'what is this compared to her previous song'

'What is this compared to her previous song'. Two people argued about whether a song was good or not, and one just responded with this. What did they mean by that? I haven't found any satisfactory ...
Chloe Burbank's user avatar
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0 answers
825 views

'strong chance' or 'strong possibility'?

'there is a strong chance that our team will win.' or 'there is a strong possibility that our team will win.'? i think the latter seems more suitable. thoughts?
Chloe Burbank's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
184 views

Which one is correct: 'She was the first woman ever elected as President' or 'She was the first woman ever to be elected as President'?

I think both sentences are ok but my teacher said I could only use the latter? I have also asked some friends yet they gave different opinions, so I'm not sure which one is proper. please help.
Chloe Burbank's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
197 views

What is the word for the verb that signifies performing the action suggested by a given noun?

I realize the wording is a little difficult to parse; essentially, I'm asking how to fill in the following blanks: The ___ of "mistake" is "make". The ___ of "action" is "perform". The ___ of "...
Lucca's user avatar
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0 votes
5 answers
473 views

Why do conditional sentences with "would have had to" have an extra "had" in them?

Well, I was reading about Type Three conditionals. In the main clause we use if + past perfect (had), then in the second clause we use either the "perfect conditional" or the "perfect ...
user301218's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
499 views

Use of "which in part" - what grammar rule is involved? [closed]

Can someone explain how this author uses "which in part" in this sentence? What grammar rule allows the author to use "which in part"? How can I too use "which in part" correctly in a sentence? The ...
Bubble_Girl's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
65 views

How to simplify the sentence and keep the same meaning? [closed]

I want to say Riding Uber is similar to going to the barber shop, Tip is not mandatory but always welcome. How I can shorten it?
Giordano Fearghas's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
15k views

Name of the English speaking test where you have to describe a scene

There is a well-known English Communication test which is used to assess primary and middle-school students' levels of spoken English. Students look at a scene card where several activities are ...
Wolfpack'08's user avatar
  • 1,059
106 votes
12 answers
14k views

Why does "I was happy to do my homework" work, but "I was tired to do my homework" doesn't?

I'm teaching ESL, and I came across a question from one of my students that I don't know how to answer. Using the form "{subject} {verb} {adjective} {infinitive phrase}" we've been going over ...
Richard Winters's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
843 views

What's a simpler word for "several" in the meaning of "multiple" [closed]

[Hello. I'm not a native English speaker, so please forgive me for my mistakes if there are any] Suppose I wanted to say "I have in my class several people called Jim Smith". I'm under the impression ...
Person1's user avatar
  • 17
1 vote
1 answer
612 views

How to correct/improve 's-' pronunciation at the beginning of a sentence?

As a native Spanish speaker, I tend to mispronounce some letters or words in English. One of them is the 's' sound at the beginning of a word, for example, I pronounce: 'slang' as /eslaŋ/ instead of /...
helq's user avatar
  • 111
-1 votes
3 answers
1k views

Which English words are commonly misused by non-native English speakers? [closed]

It's quite easy to find lists of commonly misused words. They are all over the internet. But it's not clear which of them are the MOST commonly misused words. This article says that there are 38 ...
Carlos's user avatar
  • 1
4 votes
3 answers
894 views

ESL text: "I notice similarities between myself and . . . ": Acceptable use of reflexive pronoun?

In an ESL class, a student asked a difficult question about the use of “myself” in the following sentence: I notice similarities between myself and other people more than differences. (Speak Out,...
curious-proofreader's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
479 views

How to write this kind of sentence for a distinguished lecture series?

I work in a Chinese university and recently our department has decided to start a Distinguished Lecture Series in Physics. We want to give the invited speaker some kind of document showing that, ...
Bill's user avatar
  • 1
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

Road to English fluency for advanced speakers [closed]

I have been learning English all my life. I have been in the US for three years. I consider myself an advanced English speaker. There are many resources on the internet that are geared towards ...
Keeto's user avatar
  • 297
0 votes
2 answers
4k views

I will learn better English -- should it be "I will learn English better."

Somehow, I think "better English" is incorrect, because I think there isn't better English; English is English. But I hear this phrase from other ESL students a lot. Is this correct way of saying it? ...
Ann's user avatar
  • 89
3 votes
1 answer
3k views

Mixed conditional clause type 1-3

I came across the following conditional clause while studying a grammar book published by Oxford: "If you know London so well, you shouldn't have got so hopelessly lost." The writer of the book has ...
M.N's user avatar
  • 438
-1 votes
2 answers
488 views

Is it technically incorrect to speak English using speech sounds of native language(which is not English)?

Consonants "t" and "p" are not unvoiced in my native language, which is Hindi. So I pronounce "Paint" with voiced "p" and "t", is it technically correct? It is acceptable, I know. But is it correct?
Sandeep D's user avatar
  • 325
9 votes
4 answers
26k views

What are the connotations of "there" in "hello/hi there"

I'm an ESL speaker and I'm not completely familiar with the underlying meaning conveyed when adding there to a greeting such as Hello there compared to just Hello (punctuation omitted for ...
Jonathan Allard's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
218 views

What patterns will flash in the native-speaker's brain when using English? [closed]

I think it is a common puzzle for ESL,especially for Chinese,since English is more abstract than Chinese, using which we can feel some specific patterns flashing in our brain. For example, when I see ...
Lai's user avatar
  • 129
1 vote
1 answer
5k views

Why do some users from India make these particular punctuation and capitalization errors? [closed]

Many users from India are now using the Stack Exchange sites and I see a common set of errors: Spaces before punctuation: *where is this going ? No space at all around punctuation *This is one ...
Stephen Ostermiller's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
41k views

Use of the definite article "the" before "church"

I was in a Teacher's selection for a school in my country, and one of the coordinators said that she heard a mistake from another teacher that was unacceptable. I tried to figure out why was that, but ...
Costa Caroline's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
13k views

Get in vs. get on [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Origin/reason for the expression “on the bus” instead of “in the bus” I'm an EFL (English as a foreign language) teacher and I haven't been able to come up with a good ...
Scott Severance's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the standard way to answer a question that is asking for confirmation? [closed]

Now, this is something all native english speakers should have learned in grade school, but many non-native english speakers don't know how to answer a question unambiguously. In particular, in the ...
jordoex's user avatar
  • 99
28 votes
6 answers
55k views

Why do non-native English users often spell "standard" as "standart"?

I've seen this incredibly often on StackOverflow, but also on a few other internet sites. "Standart" is an extremely common misspelling of "standard". Is there a reason in how English is taught to ...
Billy ONeal's user avatar
  • 1,940
2 votes
5 answers
23k views

Films/Series that are extremely good to understand (and that are not...) [closed]

Some time ago I asked "Why are movies so hard to understand (and what can you do about it)?" To my surprise even many native speakers answered that they had difficulties understanding some movies and ...
vonjd's user avatar
  • 3,669