Is it ok for a native speaker of English to ask questions here, so long as the topic is related to someone who is learning English?

I am a regular user of Lang-8 (1), and I have two types of questions as a result of participating in that site:

1) Sometimes I'm asked a question about English, and I consider it non-trivial enough to ask on Stack Exchange.

For example, https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/94679/referring-to-adult-age-sons-and-daughters-as-children was the result of someone asking me a question on Lang-8.

2) Sometimes I'm correcting the English of a learner, and I have a gut feeling as a native speaker that it's wrong, but I can't exactly say why.

For example, someone described Japan as being "a long country from south to north", and I suspected that it should be "a long country from north to south": https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/86763/is-north-to-south-a-more-common-set-phrase-than-south-to-north

Would both of these kinds of questions be welcome on ELL?

(1) Lang-8 is a website where you practice a language you're learning by writing journal posts in that language. Your posts are corrected by native speakers of that language. In return, you correct people writing posts in your native language.

If anyone's interested, the following questions were also prompted by reading the English of non-native speakers (mostly from Lang-8):

  1. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/100342/more-specific-antonym-to-lodger-than-landlord
  2. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/100150/is-it-unidiomatic-to-say-an-australian-person-or-an-aussie-person
  3. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/97650/is-it-safe-to-use-old-to-mean-previous-for-a-person
  4. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/97020/should-words-be-capitalized-for-being-religious-terms
  5. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/96894/for-people-can-you-say-a-british-like-you-can-say-an-australian
  6. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/96115/which-of-couldnt-cant-and-doesnt-for-13-13-13
  7. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/96087/whats-meant-by-wishing-for-a-child-as-red-as-blood-and-white-as-snow
  8. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/95776/does-safety-level-mean-the-same-thing-as-level-of-safety
  9. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/94679/referring-to-adult-age-sons-and-daughters-as-children
  10. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/94440/is-geisha-girl-used-to-refer-to-actual-geisha (tourist brochure, not Lang-8)
  11. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/92128/when-is-less-used-and-when-is-free-used
  12. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/87146/do-lamb-and-ram-share-a-common-etymology
  13. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/86763/is-north-to-south-a-more-common-set-phrase-than-south-to-north
  14. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/77996/is-huge-slightly-informal

Proposal: English Language Learners

  • 1
    Why not? I see no problem, though it would probably be best to forestall unpleasant imputations by explicitly acknowledging the source of each question. Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 11:26

2 Answers 2


I strongly support your idea. I think that these are Questions/Answers that would be too basic for English Language and Usage.


What you propose (the affirmative to your question) is the reason I'm a member of, and support this site. Universities tend to have a very international population, and I tend to hear the same misuses over and over. When I detect such a pattern, I can come to this site, ask the question, and get the right, best, or at least (hopefully) a well written/reasoned answer/discussion. Then I can remember that answer for my discussions with others, or refer them to this site, when the issue comes up, and the page remains as a reference for others everywhere.

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