1

I plan write an IT blog in english language, but this is not my native language. I would like to know some basic rules when writing articles. Each advice will be valuable.

  1. Is it good to use two (or more) same words in one sentence? Look at first sentence in this question ((...) language (...) language (...))?
  2. What tense should I use when writing IT articles? Should I use only one tense in article and avoid mixing them?
  3. Should I use british or american dialect of english? Is there any place in the internet to check british or american words?
  4. Should I use shortcuts (I would -> I'd)?
  5. Is it good idea to check everything in google translate?

I know this is not one question, but they concern the same issue.

  1. Do I commited a lot of mistakes in the above content? ;)
  • I think some of these will depend on who your audience is, and what kind of tone you want to write in. An IT blog that consisted of serious, technical discussions of niche topics would be written differently than an IT blog containing light-hearted reviews of fun new gadgets. – Keiki Apr 29 '15 at 18:47
  • Welcome to ELL.SE. In case you are not familiar with StackExchange, please note that our format is best suited to answering a single question at a time; as currently written, it is too broad, and depends on too many factors you have not identified, such as your target audience. I would say the answers to most of these are a matter of style or of opinion— perhaps the only one where everyone will agree is that Google Translate (or any other machine translation) is not reliable for checking anything. You might be interested in our sister site, Writers.SE. – choster Apr 29 '15 at 18:50
  • 2
    For question #1, go here. For Question #2, that depends. Are you writing about the past, or the future? (The previous version had no X, but the next version will have Y. That sentence is fine.) Q3: Who do you hope will read this, and yes, try Onelook.com. Q4: Those are called contractions, not shortcuts; see here. Q6: The words English, British, and American should start with upper-case letters. See this for why "each advice" is not right, either. – J.R. Apr 29 '15 at 19:09
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Standard Q&A format time people! :) Questions have the same number as their related answers!


  1. Is it good to use two (or more) same words in one sentence? Look at first sentence in this question ((...) language (...) language (...))?
  2. What tense should I use when writing IT articles?
  3. Should I use british or american dialect of english? Is there any place in the internet to check British or american words?
  4. Should I use only one tense in article and avoid mixing them?
  5. Should I use shortcuts (I would -> I'd)?
  6. Is it good idea to check everything in google translate?

  1. It depends on the circumstance. Is it a technical term (like ethernet), or is it a word like bee, where a synonym could easily be found? If no synonyms fit the same meaning, then you can always use the same word twice.
  2. Use whatever tense fits the position you want to be in. Are you talking about your past experience with the iPhone 3G in past tense, or using current tense when talking about the new iPhone 6? Use whatever tense you need to to get your point across, since none of the three is preferred.
  3. Use both, but don't use slang that might not be recognised by certain demographic groups. Don't use anything that might not be known to the reader (barnett for hair, for example.)
  4. Use any tense that you need to. Some examples, all of which are fine:

    Android used to be top dog, but with Apple's reign of expensive metal heaps approaching, I expect to see less of the devices in the future.

    I used to love Android truly-- honest!

    I'm certainly going to be committing myself to Apple: are you?

  5. For emphasis, use the longer versions ("I would kill for a new USB-C cable!"), and shortened versions for most other situations ("I'd be appreciative of receiving a new USB-C cable.")

  6. No. Google translate isn't correct 100% of the time (especially with my experience learning BR Portuguese. If you're not sure of something, you can ask online, or just go and do a little research. Google Translate often suggests a word that might have the wrong connotations for what you're trying to suggest, and can sometimes be wrong entirely.


Lastly, you asked if you made any mistakes that aren't up for debate, and don't require extended explanations. Here are the ones I spotted:

  • "I plan write ..." -> "I plan to write"
  • "Each advice ..." -> "All advice"
  • "... in article ..." -> "in the article"
  • "... use british or ..." -> "use the British or"
  • "Do I commited ..." -> "Have I made"
4

The answers to this question will depend somewhat on the tone that you are trying to achieve with your blog. I will attempt to answer each question below.

  1. That very much depends on the specifics of the case. I wouldn't repeat a word unnecessarily, but sometimes it's more or less unavoidable (like in the first sentence of your question). I wouldn't worry about this too much.

  2. Since you are writing a blog, the tense can be much more varied than it would be in a technical paper or something of that ilk. Basically, just use whatever tense you would use if you were speaking. Make sure to follow grammatical rules, though (e.g. make sure tenses agree within sentences).

  3. It does not matter whether you use American or British spellings/word-choices; however, you should choose one and stick with it consistently. It just seems weird to readers if that gets switched around within a post.

  4. This depends on the level of formality that you are trying to achieve with your writing. For a blog, I don't think anybody would think twice about a contraction here and there.

  5. Google Translate is good for translating individual words, but not great for translating whole sentences, and definitely not great for translating an entire article. It could work to type English words into Google Translate and see if they translate back to your native language the way you want them too, but even that won't be foolproof. The best thing to do would be to ask a native English speaker.

  6. You made a few mistakes in your question, but none of them are mistakes that I would consider unusual for a non-native speaker.

    • I plan write an IT blog in english language -> I plan to write an IT blog in English.

(The word "language" at the end of the sentence is not needed. If you want to include it, you could say "the English language.")

  • but this is not my native language -> but it is not my native language

  • Each advice will be valuable -> Any advice would be valuable

(We do not use the word "advice" as a singular noun. Instead, we would say "Any advice" or "All advice.")

  • Is it good to use two (or more) same words in one sentence? -> Is it good to use two (or more) of the same words in one sentence?

  • Should I use only one tense in article -> Should I use only one tense in an article

  • Should I use british or american dialect of english -> Should I use a British or an American dialect of English

("British", "American", and "English" are proper nouns, so they are capitalized.)

  • Should I use shortcuts

(Not really a mistake here, but these "shortcuts" are called contractions in English.)

  • Do I commited a lot of mistakes in the above content? -> Did I commit a lot of mistakes in the above content?
  • I disagree with "but this is not my native language -> but it is not my native language" and "Each advice will be valuable -> Any advice would be valuable". I feel like will and would both work, and that this and it are in the same boat. – HarryCBurn Apr 29 '15 at 20:23
  • Your answer is also good, but I can choose only one. Thanks! – Mateusz Jagiełło Apr 30 '15 at 16:58
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4: Go ahead and use contractions. Contractions are only forbidden in very formal writing. Unless you are writing for an academic audience (and sometimes not even then), IT articles are usually not written in a formal style. Blog posts are also usually informal, although you can choose whatever level of formality you like.

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