I am studying English and one of my old friends recommended that I study "How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction" by Curzan and Adam

This book is an amazing book but the questions are not answered. Thus, I do not know if I am answering them correctly or not.

Can I post my questions and answers here to check them? Or, how can I find the answers for the exercises?

  • 1
    Note that because you deleted the migrated question, it became available on the main site again. I've re-migrated it to Meta, where it is best suited ("Can I ask..." questions belong here). You should now receive advice on how to frame the questions you want to ask, if they are likely to be on-topic on the main site.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 14:38
  • 4
    You’ll have to give us examples of the kinds of questions he book contains, so we can tell you if this site or our sister site English Language Learners is better suited to host them. Please bear in mind that no site on the StackExchange network will receive these questions well if you don’t attempt, in the body of the question itself to (a) include relevant context, such as motivations, (b) exclude irrelevant information, and most critically (c) show a sincere attempt to answer the question yourself (using the material the book introduces before the Q) and highlight where exactly you’re stuck.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 15:17
  • 2
    IOW, what will be completely unacceptable will be “here’s a question from a book I’m reading, but I don’t know the answer. Tell me what it is <verbatim question dump>@.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 15:18
  • 2
    Very superficially, I think these kinds of questions sound very appropriate (even perfect) for ELU. But you must take into account @DanBron's qualifications, otherwise they might come across as problematic (and closable).
    – Mitch
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 15:40
  • sounds like a good learning exercise for all. If i may ... there are free 'how_english_works_a_grammar_practice_book_oxford_' available online with questions and answers by the authors of said book.
    – lbf
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 15:56
  • @DanBron (1) the book title has "linguistics" which suggests it is inappropriate for elementary learners. (2) the OP said he wants the community to check their answers because they don't know if they're doing the exercise right. My biggest niggle is with the questions themselves...if they consist of one line sentences which contain a blank space, the OP is going to find it frustratingly slow to check each and every answer.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 17:31
  • 3
    @Mari-LouA Don’t judge a book by its title. Either OP (most usefully and fairly) must show us the kinds of questions he wants to ask, or someone (specifically not me) has to do the legwork on his behalf, research the actual book and some of its actual questions, and edit them into this post (though that [a] unfair shifts the onus to the Meta community and [b] risks misconstruing the exact type of questions that give OP trouble). As for “check”, that’s a nebulous word. Proof-reading is “checking”, yet off-topic. Also “here’s the Q, my A & my rationale, can you critique?” is “checking” but good.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 17:40
  • 1
    My earlier comment was aimed at disambiguating “check” by telling OP precisely what kind of checking is permissible and what is inappropriate. All in, I’m not willing to grant OP cart blanche on asking questions from an English textbook given only the details currently available in this Meta-post. If he adds more details, I may be able to show my supper or my reticence.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 17:43
  • @ mari-lou as usual you are correct. I deleted my answer. I again searched longer as penance ... but too was unsuccessful!
    – lbf
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 20:04
  • 1
    Can you give some examples, ones that you think you'd like to have checked?
    – Mitch
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


Thank you for asking the meta question before posting your English question.

You ask:

Can I post my questions and answers here to check them? Or, how can I find the answers for the exercises?

The first step is to determine the appropriate community for your question. There are several Stack Exchange communities dealing with language, including the following:

You can post any question you like, so long as the question would be of interest to the target community. If you post a question that isn't of interest to the target community, the question is more likely to be closed or ignored.

For example, if you are a native speaker and you are exploring the nuances of zero articles vs null articles, make your case (directly in the question body) as to why people fluent in English would be interested in your question. It might be a good candidate for EL&U. If you are still learning the language and want to know (say) how to construct a sentence set in the present that references an event in the past as well as its continuation in the future, ELL might be a better place to ask.

Either way, go to the community's main page, scroll down to the footer and click "Help". This takes you to the Frequently Asked Questions, where you can find some basic information on what kinds of questions are considered on-topic for that community, and which aren't.

Regardless of where you post, though, search the community for similar questions (the search bar is at the top of the page) and make sure there the question is clear enough that the community has a chance of posting a definitive answer.

It is almost always inappropriate to simply post questions and answers (here or at ELL) simply for checking. You should first think about what the underlying problem is - and ask that. This archived blog post provides more detail.

In addition to the help pages, have a look also at the links collated in my meta post related to questions on hold, especially item 1 there about the ELL meta post entitled "Please, everyone… details".

Thank you again for checking first about asking questions from your textbook. Whichever community you end up posting in, I'm sure the extra thought you put into framing your questions would be appreciated.

  • 1
    I think that referring to the participants of ELU.SE as "linguists, etymologists, and (serious) English language enthusiasts" is silly. The questions are not asked by any etymologists, linguists, or serious students of English. There are such people around, but they don't ask questions; and there aren't very many of them, to be frank. The questions are mostly asked by clueless students of English (occasionally by native speakers, but mostly not), and the answers mostly come from them too. I see little hope for any improvement here, I'm afraid. Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 19:08
  • 1
    @JohnLawler You make a good point. Since the definition of the intended community is a key part of the way SE segregates its sub-sites, though, what would you propose in its place? Citing a strawman just for illustration: it wouldn't do ignore it altogether, so that, for example, ELU retains questions in Russian about Russian, or questions in any language about computational methods. Would you say any question about English should be on-topic here? The charter's description of the community doesn't reflect the community's composition - should we change the charter?
    – Lawrence
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 3:21
  • 3
    This problem seems to plague much of the SE community. When I joined StackOverflow, I thought it was going to be professional programmers helping each other with tough problems. But most of it is newbies asking for tutoring. I don't read math.SE regularly, but when I see it in HNQ they're mostly high school algebra. Interpersonal.SE is full of people asking how to handle overbearing parents, jealous partners, etc., the kinds of things everyone used to just deal with. Conversely, I see answers on ELL that probably go way over the audience's heads.
    – Barmar
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 16:37

You must log in to answer this question.