I'm currently exchanging communications with several German English learners. We correct each others mistakes and try to explain why they are mistakes if it's not a cut and dry solution like conjugation etc.

I've sent a few explanations I think clarify their subjects clearly but I want to get secondary opinions from somewhere to make sure I'm not mistaken myself or leaving anything out.

I saw the suggestion:

If this question is about learning English, use ELL

I looked at the site and it seems like it's for the learners themselves so I don't think it's appropriate for my intentions.

Before I start posting my explanations and get blasted for not following the rules intent of the forum I figured I'd ask if it was appropriate first.

I was hoping to use some SE site because I find the answers to be the best found in a general from a Google Search but I'm new to this site in particular and want to make sure I'm using it correctly.

Bonus: If this is not the place for posting questions like the ones I laid out, could you point me in the right direction?

Thank in advance for any feedback you provide.

  • 4
    Before you start posting explanations, please post a lot of examples. We have found that explanations without examples are hard to understand and often contain false assumptions. Examples -- data -- will always be more useful. Personally, I have no problems with your plans, provided the questions are interesting. Commented May 9, 2018 at 2:37
  • @JohnLawler Great. I'm glad to hear that. I just posted a sample question here:english.stackexchange.com/questions/445332/… Would you mind giving me some feedback as to the quality/ acceptability of this answer?
    – W.Harr
    Commented May 9, 2018 at 3:15
  • 2
    What you're saying is that you, already knowing English, want to further understand how something in particular works. That seems entirely appropriate here. So long as you've already researched your question and can explain what you need clarified, that's exactly what this site is for. At least as I understand it. I'm not sure where your confusion is coming from. Commented May 9, 2018 at 4:42
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    I think J.R.'s explanation of the difference between ELL and EL&U might be helpful: english.meta.stackexchange.com/a/3723/80039 Essentially, if you're a native English speaker with a reasonable grasp of grammar and can't find a clear answer after you've done some research, it's probably a good candidate question for the EL&U community.
    – ColleenV
    Commented May 9, 2018 at 11:55
  • @JasonBassford Ok, that's good to hear. The source of my confusion, or caution rather, is that in the past when I began posting on different SE sites with questions, I would get lambasted for not following the rules or not properly understanding the purpose on the site. I figured that before I began on EL&U , I'd preface my participation on the site by finding out if my ESL pedagogical objectives align with the sites intent and purpose.
    – W.Harr
    Commented May 9, 2018 at 13:32

1 Answer 1


This answer is based on the test case you posted:

Difference Between Since and For When Referring to Past Event

I think this is straddles the border between EL&U and ELL.

ELL isn't just for English language learners to ask questions of each other. The ELL tour says that it's for questions "about learning the English language". That makes your (main site) question squarely on topic at ELL.

EL&U is for questions "about English language and usage". As written, I think your (main site) question is phrased a little too heavily as something of a dialogue for the community to check. The primary question statement in the body of your question is:

I want to be sure that what I have told them is correct. If I'm missing any piece to this answer, then please let me know.

This is a little too close to proofreading for comfort.

However, if you reword your question slightly, processing it a little to highlight the issues in the question's title and adding some links to justify your assertions, you might have a direct question that the community can sink its teeth into, as opposed to just "Yes, you got it right", or "No, you missed such and such".

The "such and such" part is the crux of the matter - answers should relate directly to the question you actually pose, rather than be a general discussion that is merely related to the question you pose.

I'd suggest that you use the conversation to simply provide context to your question, but then frame the core of your question separately and clearly. If you do this consistently, you would be following in the footsteps of Yoichi Oishi, a non-native English speaker who probably holds the record for number of EL&U questions posted, and whose questions have been cited as examples of well-posed questions (the citation is on ELL, but it also applies to EL&U).

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