Monday, February 20, 2006

Beware of non-English English websites

I mentioned in one of my last articles that there is a website called which has no connection to my site It's a good site if you want to do exercises. But let me ask you something. If you wanted to learn to swim, would you go to a ski instructor? Probably not. So if you want to learn English, why go to a French site? I say this because I spotted a glaring error in one of the grammar lessons presented on It is a lesson on the "auxiliary verb, to be". Yes "be" is an auxiliary verb, sometimes. But the lesson uses example sentences like "I am happy", in which "to be" is not an auxiliary, but a real verb. In the sentence "John is picking his nose", the verb is "to pick", while "is" is the auxiliary. So beware. Don't believe everything you read on the net, especially if it's written by someone whose native language is not English. Let's face it, I don't know that much about English grammar, and I'm British! Why not stop studying grammar and do something worthwhile instead, like actually speaking English with someone?

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