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non-native speakers

April 4, 2018
Articles

Why Non-native English Speakers Have Trouble with ‘The’, ‘A’ and ‘An’.

This blog article is about articles, grammatically speaking. It is an analysis of that little word preceding ‘analysis’, ‘an’, and I am certain it is indefinite. The English article system presents many problems for non-native speakers of English, particularly when they do not have the equivalent structure in their first language. Learning their proper use is considered to be one of the most complicated aspects of the English language. For example, as a native speaker, I instinctively knew to use ‘an’ rather than ‘a’, in the second sentence because ‘analysis’ begins with a vowel sound. This is done in speech […]
March 9, 2018
prepositions-translation

Prepositions are notoriously tricky to get right for non-native translators when going into English.

According to the on-line Oxford Dictionary: “A preposition is a word governing, and usually preceding, a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation to another word or element in the clause, as in ‘the man on the platform’, ‘she arrived after dinner’, ‘what did you do it for?’.” On, after and for are the prepositions in these phrases and fairly straight forward for the average English speaker; however, for a Spanish speaker, when going from Spanish to English it is a mine field. The origin of the word itself gives a strong clue to what it does in a sentence. […]