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‘Help do’ vs. ‘help to do’ vs. ‘help doing’ in English
Both “help someone do something” and “help someone to do something” are acceptable. The form without “to” seems to be more common in (...)
January 25, 2015 – Jakub MarianEnglish
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Lie, lied, lay, laid (and layed) in English
The verbs “lie” and “lay” are perhaps the two most confusing irregular English verbs. “Lie” has two meanings: it can mean “not to tell the (...)
January 23, 2015 – Jakub MarianEnglish
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‘Clothes is’ vs. ‘clothes are’ in English
The word for “clothes” is singular in many languages, e.g. la ropa in Spanish or die Kleidung in German, and its plural in most contexts (...)
January 20, 2015 – Jakub MarianEnglish
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German ä, ö, ü – what’s the difference?
German alphabet contains three additional symbols for vowels which are often misunderstood or mispronounced by learners whose mother (...)
January 18, 2015 – Jakub MarianGerman
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Pronunciation of French ‘e’ in open and closed syllables
Pronunciation of the letter “e” in French changes when it belongs to a larger group of letters or when it is supposed to be silent—you (...)
January 18, 2015 – Jakub MarianFrench
Number of seats in the national parliament by country in Europe (total & per capita, map)
The following map shows the total number of seats in the national parliament of each country as of 2015 (national parliament here refers (...)
January 14, 2015 – Jakub MarianMaps
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‘And’, ‘but’, ‘or’, and ‘so’ at the beginning of a sentence
Most people were told at some point in their lives that starting a sentence with a conjunction is ungrammatical. Long story short, no such (...)
January 12, 2015 – Jakub MarianEnglish
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‘In office’ vs. ‘in the office’ vs. ‘at the office’ in English
After I published my article about being in/at school, one of my readers asked me about the difference between “in office” and “at (...)
January 9, 2015 – Jakub MarianEnglish
Difference between -ung in German and -ing in English
One of the most common mistakes among German learners who just started off is overuse of the German ending -ung, which looks like the (...)
January 8, 2015 – Jakub MarianGerman
Average cigarette consumption per capita by country in Europe (map)
The following map shows the average number of cigarettes an adult consumes per year. The definition of an adult differs from study to (...)
January 7, 2015 – Jakub MarianMaps
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So, thus, therefore, and hence in English
Since you are reading this article in English, the odds are you already know what the conjunction “so” means. You probably also know that (...)
January 6, 2015 – Jakub MarianEnglish
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‘At school’ vs. ‘in school’ in British and American English
There are no definitive guidelines to the distinction between “at school” and “in school” because the terms are used in a different way in (...)
January 3, 2015 – Jakub MarianEnglish
‘Happy New Year’ in European languages (map)
The following map shows the phrase “Happy New Year” translated into European languages (compare it with the corresponding map for Merry (...)
December 28, 2014 – Jakub MarianMaps
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‘Make homework’ vs. ‘do homework’ in English
First, let me note that “homework” is an uncountable (mass) noun in English. It is a common mistake, even among some non-native teachers (...)
December 27, 2014 – Jakub MarianEnglish
Comparison of the largest star (UY Scuti), the Solar System, Sun, Jupiter, and Earth
Some objects in the Universe are huge, and it is hard to imagine how huge they are. To help my readers with that, I made the following (...)
December 26, 2014 – Jakub MarianPhysics
‘Merry Christmas’ in European languages (map)
The following map shows how to say (or rather write) the equivalent of “Merry Christmas” in (official) European languages. Countries are (...)
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Irregular English verbs: -aught and -ought
A large class of irregular English verbs are characterized by having /ɔːt/ in their pronunciation in the past tense and past participle. (...)
December 9, 2014 – Jakub MarianEnglish
Household debt in Europe by country (map)
There is a worrying tendency among households in European countries to spend more than they can earn. The following map shows the average (...)
December 8, 2014 – Jakub MarianMaps
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Irregular English verbs: bleed, feed, lead…
A common pattern among irregular English verbs is characterized by the change in pronunciation /iːd/ → /ɛd/ in the past tense and past (...)
December 7, 2014 – Jakub MarianEnglish
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‘Translate to’ vs. ‘translate into’ in English
It is sometimes hard to tell whether to use “to” or “into” in English, and I am afraid learners have to learn that by heart in most but (...)
December 4, 2014 – Jakub MarianEnglish
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