Because the domain name of english.stackexchange.com uses an ambiguous word in its first element, I think you should prominently place some sort of “announcement” that anyone coming to ELU can always clearly see.

I say this because most beginners first coming here, including me, always think that ELU must be the best SE site to ask simple questions about basic English, but it is not.

This confusion is because of its domain name of english, and also because we don’t even realize that there is a completely separate ELL website specifically geared for beginners’ questions that come up when first learning English.

When you see a list that includes both english.stackexchange.com and ell.stackexchange.com, it is only natural to make this mistake, so beginners end up asking ELL questions on ELU where they don’t fit well.

I’m moving to ELL now :)

2 Answers 2


Heartily agree with this suggestion. Cheers to you, mockie, and best of luck in your learning.

There are 4 questions in the RELATED sidebar that suggest similar things. There is a lot of discussion in comments and on this meta generated by misplaced questions and a lack of awareness of the ELL sister site. I further move that the banner/announcement be prominently displayed in the following places:

  • EL&U Homepage for first time visitors, low rep users and/or anyone who isn't registered.
  • Ask a question page, either across the top or in the How to Ask sidebar.
  • Help Center main, including everywhere the Here's How it Works banner is displayed.
  • In several help topics related to asking. It's somewhat buried in the On-topic listing (IMO), and sorely needs to be added to the Don't Ask and On-hold/Closed Question topics.
  • In the footer under Culture/Recreation. I realize this is almost certainly a common component across the SE Network. It shows EL&U as the top link even when viewed on EL&U and Meta EL&U. It would be great, in my opinion, if this could be swapped to point to to ELL for every EL&U page.

This list may be overkill, but the first 3 at least could cut down on the basic and learner questions that appear on this site (and the redundant and repeated discussions that crop up as a result).

  • 1
    Thanks Patrick :). To be honest I found ell website accidentally and most of the time when I was searching tutorial about basic english grammar or tenses I always found english.stackexchange(ESE) as search result in google rather than ell website I think this is why most of new comers like me fell to the wrong site (ESE). So it's important to placing a banner where most people can see. Cheers :)
    – mockie
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 16:08
  • 1
    Yeah, the difference in SEO between EL&U and ELL is probably the biggest cause of misplaced questions. I know that's a more difficult and ongoing process to correct, but hopefully adding more visible links will be easy and effectively steer some of our new users.
    – Patrick M
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 18:11

This has come up regularly ever since ELL went into beta (eg here and here ). Both the ELU community and the ELL community would very much like to make sure learners are directed to the right place, but it is not as easy as it sounds. The first screen of the Help page already includes the sentence

In addition, if you are new to learning English, please consider whether your question might be better suited for English Language Learners. [with link];

could the wording be any clearer without being insulting? The 'tour' is an introduction to the Stack Exchange model, to tell newcomers it is not just another forum. It is standard across the network, so we can't change that. It is not possible for users to ask that a question be moved to ELL till that comes out of beta (see this question). And the first page a user sees (by design) is a list of the most recent questions; any announcement would have to be renewed every few days, annoying the majority of users, overworking the moderators and keeping a good question off the page.

So if anybody has any constructive suggestions to redirect English Language learners to ELL and away from here, please post them; but please don't post yet another complaint saying "I thought "English Language and Usage" was for basic English; I'm disappointed". The problem is well known, and under consideration.

  • 2
    It's not exactly 'in your face' at english.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic. If it could be moved to the 'Ask Question' page it would be seen by more people, especially first time users.
    – Frank
    Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 9:21
  • You are old player here and please bear in mind first time users are not like you that knowing every part of this site!! I didn't mean insult anyone here. I was honest I was misunderstanding about this site with saying "I thought "English Language and Usage" was for basic English". I was trying to give suggestion to help. So you "Old man here" don't need to say "It's basic question, go to ELL" again and again. I'd love to lifting my leg from here, just tell me where is the "remove account" button ? And change the domain name to "advance-english". And yes I'm insulting now! Thanks.
    – mockie
    Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 13:19
  • 4
    japanese.stacexchange.com is for everyone but english.stackexchange.com is only for advance users. It's confusing! Btw I didn't say "It's easy to do" like you said.
    – mockie
    Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 13:27
  • Which "first screen" of the Help page are you referring to? It doesn't show up for me here: english.stackexchange.com/help
    – Patrick M
    Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 19:19
  • @PatrickM: It's in the first page of that, 'What topics can I ask about here?' Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 19:55

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