The aim of Stackexchange of trying to deliver good answers to grammar questions is excellent, but nevertheless Stackexchange has still a lot to do. I have just read the post "Why is present perfect used in this sentence?" and given a comment. Then I looked at the posts with the tag "present perfect simple". About 450 posts. Impossible to find a post where an exemplary answer is given to the question "When to use present perfect simple (Pf)?".

I see this as a problem and this may be the cause why the search function for tags is little used. How could one solve this problem? Should posts with exemplary answers have a special colour and be placed at the beginning of the endless row of posts?

  • Just sort by votes? Sep 6, 2015 at 5:11
  • Yes, that idea also went through my mind. Perhaps a limited number of grammar questions, really frequently asked questions, should be put up for votes "What do you think are the best answers?"
    – rogermue
    Sep 6, 2015 at 5:15
  • We do have canonical-post for somewhat of a similar purpose. It's presently sparsely populated because the standards are quite high. Sep 6, 2015 at 5:18

1 Answer 1


First, let's see why we have tags:

  • Tags are for sorting your question into specific, well-defined categories

  • Tags are used in searching.

  • They are used for (weak) statistics.

  • Some people use them to find unanswered questions they could possibly answer.

On ELL do have some tagging problems, such as


This isn't a problem with the tags (!). Some SE sites tend to have "canonical questions" so that: (1) They'll be able to close further related questions as their duplicates. and (2) They'll have a sustainable source of info. (3) Other benefits.

We currently only have two canonical posts on ELL: Canonical Post #1: When to Trust Your Grammar Checker and Canonical Post #2: What is the perfect, and how should I use it?.

We'll need to write other ones and there are no canonical posts for each of the aspects. For that cause a meta post or chat event can act as a good formal medium to invite people to chip in.

As for how to keep track of the question, you can

  • use advanced search tips
  • use Google with site:ell.stackexchange.com (specially if you remember a portion of a text in comments)
  • favorite it

in order to find it.

  • At the time, no one else was interested in writing a canonical post, so the initiative sort of dried up... I'd love to start it back up again. Would you be interested in writing one?
    – WendiKidd
    Sep 9, 2015 at 14:19
  • @Wendi I occasionally see Stoney in chat saying that they didn't reach a consensus. Of course I'd love to help, but I don't think I have what it takes to write one. Of course, we could make a team or something, and arrange it. It could be a weird new meta post, or just a friendly campfire in chat.
    – M.A.R.
    Sep 9, 2015 at 14:24

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