I've started learning English at secondary school. First topic I learned is the grammar rule. I did a lot of assignments about it likes doing the math. I think that I can do it well(I got a 600 points for TOEIC reading & listening test). I just realize that there are a lot of English sentences I know the grammar is using but I still can not understand the meaning and sometime It made me stressful. I have read some emails at work and didn't understand anything. The tweet below is one of the example:

"The Mueller Witch Hunt is a total disgrace. They are looking at supposedly stolen Crooked Hillary Clinton Emails (even though they don’t want to look at the DNC Server), but have no interest in the Emails that Hillary DELETED & acid washed AFTER getting a Congressional Subpoena!"

I can not understand what Trump meant. To be honest I do not understand a lot of well-known person tweets. Do you have any suggest for me to improve my understanding skill? What should I learn to improve?

Thank you for sharing with me!

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    Welcome to the site. Since your question requests advice in improving your reading comprehension, it is more suited to the Language Learning site (languagelearning.stackexchange.com) than this one. If you repost the question there I will offer a suggestion. But let me just note that comprehension is more than about having a good grasp of vocabulary and grammar, but also about having cultural knowledge. Many non-American native English speakers who know little about American politics would have difficulty understanding the tweet.
    – Shoe
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 7:51
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    @Shoe You should be directing to English Language Learners instead.
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 7:56
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    Tweets are not for beginners to test their language skills on. They do not necessarily obey grammatical rules or even make sense to those not familiar with the broad context. Try the news sites and sites recommended for ESL students. Good Luck.
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 7:59
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    @Kris. As I understand it, the OP is not asking for an explanation of the tweet, but for advice on how to improve reading comprehension in general. The folks on Language Learning may disagree with my interpretation and suggest reposting on English Language Learners! At any rate, I will not provide an answer here.
    – Shoe
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 8:04

2 Answers 2


You ask: Do you have any suggestions for me to improve my understanding skill? What should I learn to improve?

Before answering these specific questions, I think it is helpful to understand the factors that influence reading comprehension in general. Whether any given written text will be found difficult or not to understand depends on the interplay between reader factors, text factors, and environment factors.

Reader factors include proficiency in the language (grammar and vocabulary) of the text, background knowledge of the text topic, and mental alertness when reading.

Text factors include the frequency (or commonness) of the vocabulary in the text, its syntactic complexity, and clarity of expression.

Environment factors have to do with the location where the reading is done and the number or strength of the distractions. You are more likely to be able to make sense of a difficult text if you are reading it in the quiet of your own study at home than in a busy coffeeshop.

The Trump tweet has text factors that make it difficult. For example, syntactic: the pre-posed reduced relative clause supposedly stolen; and lexical: acid washed.

As to the reader factors, you state that you are learning English at school. This implies that you are still have a long way to go before reaching native-speaker proficiency in grammar and vocabulary. But I suspect that your lack of comprehension of the tweet has more to do with a lack of background knowledge of American culture and politics and of the various developments since Trump was elected.

The answer to your questions Do you have any suggestions for me to improve my understanding skill? What should I learn to improve? is fairly simplistic: Work on the reader factors. Keep improving your vocabulary and grammar, and develop your background knowledge in the areas that interest you.

The best way to do this is through reading and listening. Read good newspapers or online articles. Tweets are hardly the best source of clear, well-written English that can serve as good models for your own language development.

And listen to podcasts on the topics of interest. Or better still, watch online news where the text is accompanied by visual material (e.g. images of the people or places involved).

Hopefully, an understanding of the factors that make texts difficult will reduce the stress you feel when reading them. Be patient and have realistic expectations of yourself. I suspect that fewer than 5% of non-American native-English speakers would fully understand the Trump tweet.

And if you have specific questions about the words or grammar in anything you read, you can always post your question here.


I think there are three problems for an English student in this tweet. English Learners may help you become more fluent and widen your vocabulary.

The second problem is context. ELL won't help with that. Somehow you have to find a news source you can trust and understand to build the background knowledge. You may have that anyway.

The third problem is the way English is used here. Some techniques are listed under Rhetorical Terms in Wikipedia; and how they are used is described under Rhetorical Operations. Several show up on this site, ELU. So, before you migrate to ELL please write Rhetoric in the search box in the top margin of this page and see how English can mean more than it says.

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