English grammar questions, answered by Alan

Moderator: Alan

Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 7:11 pm
Status: Teacher of English
Location: UK


Post by EC »

These guidelines relate to the Grammar Help forum

This forum exists to answer questions from non-native LEARNERS of English about English GRAMMAR. Suitable question-types therefore consist essentially of the following:

* Questions relating to the grammatical function of a word or phrase in a particular sentence (one per post)
* Questions relating to the grammatical acceptability of a particular sentence (one per post)
* Questions relating to the reasons for grammatical unacceptability of a particular sentence (STRICTLY one per post!)

In particular, we would draw users' attention to the following points:

1. We are not here to explain the meanings of words or sentences or to answer questions about punctuation.
*If you want to know differences of meaning between words/examples of word usage, any good learners' dictionary will provide them.
*If you want to know how to punctuate sentences, any English novel will provide you with thousands of examples!

2. For general questions about English grammar (e.g. "How do I use relative pronouns?") please look first at the ESL Learning Centre and/or try searching this forum.
Kindly note also that we do not provide beginner-level tuition in the rudiments of English grammar (e.g. when to add -s to the present-tense of verbs, etc.): these should essentially be mastered BEFORE questions are posted!

3. We are not here to do people's homework! All homework exercises should first be attempted by the questioner, after which we will endeavor to confirm or correct as necessary.

4. We do not offer editing or correction facilities for paragraphs or lengthy texts.

5. We do not offer comments on sentences containing a high proportion of specialist terms/technical jargon.

6. We do not provide a translation service into or from English. (Try an online translator!)

7. We are not here to give advice on teaching techniques or on how to improve one's general English skills. (Please try the ESL Learning Centre or the Help Each Other with English forum. Teachers can try the EC TEFL Notice Board or the teacher forums at

8. All questions should be posted on the forum and not sent to teachers by Private Message.

9. We ask questioners to bear in mind that this website is staffed entirely by a small number of volunteers, and therefore not to expect immediate responses!

10. Since the teachers' time must be divided fairly between all questioners, we ask questioners not to abuse this free facility by posting an excessive number of questions in a short period!

Thank you for your cooperation.

ADDENDUM Please note that posts of the following kind will be subject to deletion without warning:

1. Those requesting corrections to/explanations concerning the incorrectness of sentences containing an excessive number of errors.

2. Those indicating that the questioner has failed to take account of previous answers given on the same topic or regarding similar sentences.