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What topics can I ask about here?

English Language Learners Stack Exchange is for people who are learning or teaching English as a foreign language.

The best questions are those that have specific answers; ELL is not a general discussion forum. In general, ask here if you have a question which covers:

  • Word choice, usage, and meaning
  • Grammar
  • Dialect differences
  • Spelling and punctuation
  • Pronunciation and accents
  • Other practical problems you encounter or face while learning English

If you have questions about the following topics, you may want to visit other Stack Exchange sites to see if they would be a better place to ask your question (but please do not post the same question on two different Stack Exchange sites):

Please don’t ask any questions about the following topics. They are out of scope for this site:

  • Proofreading (for example, "Are there any mistakes?" or "Is this correct?"), unless a source of concern is clearly specified
  • Questions that can be answered by a quick dictionary lookup (these are off topic on ELL, and there are many free dictionaries available online. If you are asking about the meaning of a word or phrase, you should look up those words in a dictionary first. If you are still confused, be sure to summarize what you found when you did your initial research, and summarize that information in the question.)
  • "How can I improve my English?" or "What's a good tool for...?" (these are not constructive, because what works well for one learner may not work so well for another)
  • Translation and non-English languages
  • Naming, including naming programming variables/classes
  • Criticism, discussion, and analysis of English literature (you may ask about the meaning of a sentence or passage you find in literature, but be sure you provide sufficient context and cite the source where this material was found)
  • Requests for resources (we have a Resources List on Meta which you might find useful)

Remember to make an effort to research your question before posting it, and be sure to add as much detail as you can when explaining your problem. The more you can tell us, the better answers you'll receive!

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before. It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question.

If your question is not specifically on-topic for English Language Learners, it may be on topic for another Stack Exchange site. If no site currently exists that will accept your question, you may commit to or propose a new site at Area 51, the place where new Stack Exchange communities are democratically created.

For more help, see "What types of questions should I avoid asking?"