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English Learning Website

Goals

Save the time of English learners by providing a single interface to access most information needed to read, write, speak, and listen. Search with one word, and they find all information needed to understand the definition, nuance, usages, formality, and so on.

Questions

  • How do we help English learners study efficiently and quickly with a web application?

Issues in Learning English

  • As listed on this page, there are so many things to learn, but students don’t know where to start and how to get used to using English.
  • Useful resources are spread on the Internet.
  • Some information should be specialized for their first language because of bias.

Database

Collocations

http://www.just-the-word.com

Grammar

Prepositions

Provide … for …

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/everyday-grammar-prepositions-provide/2701412.html

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/55925/preposition-with-verb-provide

Based on…

…based on [article? – a/an/the/this/that/(no article)?] [noun – singular or plural?]

Roots

  • spect = see, look, observe, watch over
    • respect [look up to]
      • You should respect your parents.
      • You should respect the laws of the country.
    • suspect [have a feeling]
    • prospect [search]
    • inspect (v.)
    • inspector (p./n.)
    • inspection (a./n.)
    • inspecting (a.)
    • Other variations
      • scop = see
        • telescope 望遠鏡
      • spec = see, look at, observe
        • specialty
        • unspecified
      • spic = see, observe, look, watch over
        • suspicious 疑わしい
      • spit = see, observe, look, watch over
        • spite
        • despite
        • respite
  • vert = turn
    • revert (to s/t) [go back]
    • convert (people to …) [change the beliefs of]
    • advertise (v.)
    • advertiser (p./n.)
    • advertisement (a./n.)
    • advertising (a.)
  • port = carry, take
    • transport (s/t overseas) [send across]
    • import and export (buy in, sell out]
    • The roof is supported by the old beams. [held up]
  • duc, duct = lead
    • She was educated abroad. [went to school]
    • conduct [lead]
    • produce [make]
  • press = press, push
    • impressed [full of admiration and respect]
    • depress (me) [make me feel miserable]
    • express yourself [put your thoughts into words]
  • pose, pone = place, put
    • postponed [changed to a later date]
    • deposed [put off the throne]
    • impose [force]

Word Families

Roots and Word Families are sometimes the same things. In here, word families are the word that can stand alone while some roots do not.

  • real
    • reality
    • realize/realise
    • really
    • realistic
    • unrealistic

Prefix and Suffix

Like word families and roots, prefix and suffix are important for learning vocabulary very quickly.

  • Unemployment
    • un- (prefix)
    • employ (root)
    • -ment (suffix)

The prefix “un-” modifies the meaning of “employ”. The suffix “-ment” turns the word into a noun.

Common Abbreviations

Business/Academic

  • co = company

English Learners

  • n = noun
  • a = adjective, adverb
  • adj = adjective

Informal/Slangs

  • lol, LOL = laugh(ing) out loud, lots of laughs
  • LoL = League of Legends

Pronunciation-Base

  • cos, cause = because

Common Shorthands

(requires pictures)

Formality

  • Greetings
    • How are you? (formal)
    • What’s up? / sup? (informal)
  • Look forward
    • I look forward to meeting you. (formal)
    • I’m looking forward to meeting you. (Less formal)
    • Looking forward to meeting you! (Less formal)
  • Formal English tend to be longer and more complex and have less common words without idioms and slangs.
    • purchase (buy)
    • require (need)
    • obtain (get)
    • increased (went up)
    • has not (hasn’t)
    • they are (they’re)
    • We would (we’d)
    • extremely easy (a piece of cake)
    • information (info)

Spoken and Written

Spoken English

Regularly, we don’t write in these ways, but we speak in.

  • gonna (going to)
  • wanna (want to)
  • didja (did you)
  • hafta (have to)
  • n (and)

Written English

Another factor to mention is that written English tend to be more formal than spoken English even if you are talking to the same person.

Avoidance of Repetition

Using “one” or “ones” instead of repeating the same noun in a sentence is a characteristic of English.

Other Grammatical Rules

  • Temperature
    • 0 degrees (plural)
    • 1 degree (singular)
    • 1.0 degree (singular)
    • 1.1 degrees (plural)
    • 2.0 degrees (plural)

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

  • Uncountable
    • Furniture (This is a category)
    • Food (This is a category, or the amount of food, not the number of dishes)
  • Countable

Sentence Structure

  • parallelism
    • Usage of the same grammatical form within a sentence.
    • Sometimes, this does not work when short sentences are preferred such as presentation slides
  • Priority
    • I have 95 bananas, 70 apples, and 50 oranges. (Number is important in the situation)
    • I have 50 oranges, 95 bananas, and 70 apples. (When oranges are the most important, and banana is the next in the situation)

Spelling Variations

British, American, Canadian, other regions.

Slangs/Emoticon/Emoji

Emoji may have different meanings when they come from a different country/region or even by individuals. The Internet connects people to the people who live far away, so the language tends to be more mixed and complex, or contrary, more standard.

Quotes/Wordplay

Unlike idioms, this may not be in the dictionary but has an important part for advanced English learners.

Known Issues

  • Language is evolving and changing.
  • Every region has different word choice and pronunciation.
    • Region-specific languages
    • I’m up for it! / I’m down for it! = both are the same meaning, but some people may understand one of them or neither of them.
    • Vancouverites = generally, the people who live in Vancouver (it could be: the city of Vancouver, Lower Mainland, or Metro Vancouver)

10 Grammar and Punctuation (GAP) Units for Business Writings

There are 10 types of common grammar errors that are often made by even native English speakers. For example, most people don’t put comma correctly near “but” instead, they tend to put a comma when the sentence is felt to be longer and omit a comma when the sentence is short. This was covered by Linda’s business communication class at BCIT, BC, Canada.

  1. the four short-sentence patterns
  2. commas (the remaining two rules after the first unit on short-sentence patterns)
  3. colons
  4. apostrophes
  5. pronouns
  6. subject-verb agreement
  7. modifiers
  8. hyphens
  9. letter case
  10. number format

Subject-Verb Agreement

  • Base
    • I have a car.
    • They have a car.
  • Third-person
    • He has a car.
    • She has a car.

Attention: The verb form does not always depend on the subject.

  • Three slices of pizza is too much for me.
    • this is talking about the amount of pizza; therefore, the “is” form is used.
  • Three slices of pizza are sitting on the table.
    • This is talking about the three slices; therefore, the “are” form is used.

Some common errors

  • He and she is going to the mountain. (error)
    • He and she are going to the mountain. (correct)

Articles “my/our/your/their” and Possessives

The complex part of the structure of the sentence changes the meaning. Example:

  • My ____ and ____ = one thing (maybe)
  • My ____ and my ___ = two things (maybe)

If Bob and Chris have a car, which will be correct?

  • Bob’s and Chris’ car
  • Bob and Chris’s car
  • The car of Bob and Chris

Tones

Personal: “I have cleaned the house.”

  • Usage of: I, my, me, we, us, you, he, his, him, she, her, hers

Less personal: “The house has been cleaned” (the meaning is a little different because it does not say who cleaned the house. However, it’s usually easy to find from the context)

Vocabulary/Prioritization

Confusion Made by Negative Sentence

Negative sentences may easily confuse.

Like and Unlike

  • I am a cat lover like you. = You are a cat lover, too.
  • I am a cat lover unlike you. = You are not a cat lover.
  • I am not a cat lover like you. = (?)
  • I am not a cat lover unlike you. = (?)

Unless

  • I will go out for dinner unless you cook for me. = I will go out for dinner if you don’t cook for me.
  • I won’t go out for dinner unless you don’t cook for me. (Confusing)

Other usages

Analysis

Corpus/Corpora

Google Ngram Viewer

Optimized data is also available on Google

Google Ngram Viewer: e-commerce

APIs

TBD

Key Success Factors of this Project

The correct ways to use existing data. Fortunately, compared to Japanese, there would be more resources that could be used to collect, analyze, and organize data.

Members

We are currently looking for new project members. If you would like to help us with one or more of the following tasks, please contact us!

  • For the current phase: Designing
    • Doing research on APIs
    • Web Application Development
    • Checking legal issues (mainly copyright)
    • Web Design, UX, or UI, Wireframing
    • Financing