English Learners: come and clarify your doubts

abdul   Tuesday, May 20, 2003, 08:55 GMT
Simon, as a native speaker, can you find any mistakes in the sentence I wrote in my previous posting?
Simon   Tuesday, May 20, 2003, 09:21 GMT
9/10 abdul.
abdul   Tuesday, May 20, 2003, 10:01 GMT
You found 9 errors between 10 sentences? My God, how bad my English is....
Simon   Tuesday, May 20, 2003, 10:12 GMT
No, I was joking.
Mandana   Thursday, May 22, 2003, 21:10 GMT

Persian, the language spoken in Iran; referred to as Farsi is an Indo-European languge, not a Moslem language.

Arabic and Hebrew are Semitic languages.

We don't have languages like Christians, Moslems, ...etc as we have religions. This appellation is not scientific and you don't find it in any dictionary.


I read somewhere that Mohammad could not read neither write and a learned man wrote the Book for him.
Mandana   Thursday, May 22, 2003, 21:16 GMT
To David Bosh

I make mistakes whether to use gerund or infinitive after some verbs such as :
Do you like playing football ? or
Do you like to play football ?
Do you enjoy to go shopping ? or
Do you enjoy going shopping ?

Please help
Jim   Friday, May 23, 2003, 04:01 GMT

The gerund or the infinitive ... a tricky question. I'm not going to attempt to answer it fully but here's a tip: use either after "like" but only the gerund after "enjoy", i.e. of your four example questions above the only one which sounds unnatural is "Do you enjoy to go shopping?"


True, being a native speaker there are very few accents of English which I have trouble understanding. A strong Scottish accent or a strong Southern US accent may be difficult for me but it's like Simon says it all depends on what you're used to hearing. I'm not used to hearing those accents so they can be difficult for me but for those who are used to them it's a piece of piss. There is nothing inherantly difficult about the British RP accent as compared to the general American one. You're probably just more used to hearing American accents.
Boy   Friday, May 23, 2003, 15:18 GMT
I have a complain about the English language. I use 'grandmother' for both mothers of my dad and mom.

Let's say a sentence:

"My grandmother was the best person I'd ever known since I opened my eyes."

Now, tell me, which mother I'm talking about, either dad's or mom's.

I'm talking about dad's mother, not my mom's mother. It is not necessary that every grandmother is nice, humble and co-operative. So, how'd you make a difference?
Simon   Friday, May 23, 2003, 15:28 GMT
Well you can be precise albeit dull by saying "paternal grandmother" for your dad's mum and "maternal grandmother" for your mum's mum.

Most people I know just say "my grandmother on my father's side" or "my grandmother on my mother's side"...
David Bosch   Saturday, May 24, 2003, 17:43 GMT
Or for shorter sentences, you can say 'my dad's mum' or 'my mum's mum' and the same applies to granfathers.
Manu   Sunday, May 25, 2003, 05:56 GMT
When you greet a person with "How do you do?", what should be his response

When you greet him with "How are you?" then waht should be his response?
David Bosch   Sunday, May 25, 2003, 18:17 GMT
How do you do? is when you're being ontroduced to a person you didn't know.
if the person asks How do you do? you must say How do you do? as well.

How are you? is after saying hello or hi to a person you knew before.
it's Hi, How are you?,,, you say Fine or Good, Thanks.

Is it clear, just tell me.
hp20   Sunday, May 25, 2003, 21:58 GMT
in addition, "how do you do" should only be used in formal situations. if it's someone you really really want to impress, like superior at work or somebody otherwise very important, "how do you do" is fine. using it on anyone else might sound stuffy. for example, even if you were meeting for the first time, you'd never say "how do you do" to a classmate or a friend of a friend.
Kabam   Sunday, May 25, 2003, 22:22 GMT
You'd simply say 'Hi' or something like that, hp20 ?
What is said usually to young people when meeting for the first time ?
Brazilian Guy   Sunday, May 25, 2003, 22:26 GMT
Hi all. I hope you can help me with these sentence particles.
I know "really not" means "not at all" (Definitly NOT. Correct if I'm wrong). I would like to know if "not really" (very used in quick answers) means has the same meaning. If not, please, give me an explanation about what does it mean. Thanks