I am seeing many questions on articles: usage in modern-day standard English. (Should I use "a", "the", or nothing in this sentence? Why does this quote do it like that?) Do you think all (most?) such questions fit better in ell.stackexchange.com than in english.stackexchange.com ?

Yesterday's examples ... https://english.stackexchange.com/a/409131/9368 Why is the definite article used in each of these places in this sentence? and two others were already migrated to ELL

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    All? Nope. Some? Yes. Case by case, we will handle it.
    – NVZ Mod
    Sep 9, 2017 at 18:37
  • No, because we have the better answer as to when to use a/an versus the and many other great answers about articles. Sep 9, 2017 at 18:50
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    Wouldn't all these questions be closed pretty quickly for being duplicates in either the ELU or ELL case?
    – Mitch
    Sep 9, 2017 at 19:21
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    Simple rules (a vs the vs none) | A vs an
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Sep 10, 2017 at 9:22
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    So, you're suggesting that questions about articles should be off-topic on ELU? In general, you don't migrate questions that are on-topic for the site that they are asked on even if they are on-topic on another site.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 10, 2017 at 13:59

1 Answer 1


From comments:

  • In general, you don't migrate questions that are on-topic for the site that they are asked on even if they are on-topic on another site. – ColleenV
  • Fair enough, but basic questions of article usage are not on-topic on EL&U. The "general reference" close reason covers this well, is ELL doesn't want the questions: there are approximately 60,781,947 explanations of this readily available on the internet and directly focused on empowering English language learners to use articles correctly.
    – Dan Bron
    Sep 11, 2017 at 11:22
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    @DanBron I agree with you. I was trying to make the point that the questions need to be both off-topic on ELU and on-topic on ELL. If it's not a good question for ELU because it's general reference or because there's no context or research or because it's been asked and answered, it's probably not a good question for ELL either. Learners can be directed to ELL without migrating their questions. Sometimes it's better if we can put their questions on hold while we help them refine it. If it's migrated, the migration gets rejected.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 12, 2017 at 17:23
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    @DanBron Basically, there are virtually no basic questions about article usage. English speakers will generally always know when some article usage is correct or not (who cares? :-)). But they'll almost never know why (and neither does anyone else, virtually, in an utterly straightforward way). It's the last feature of such questions which nearly always makes them on topic for ELU (if they're asked correctly, of course). Sep 22, 2017 at 0:09

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