I've been there!. First, read this post of mine which I had posted in March 2014. Take some time thinking on it.
Do you see the frustration I had in my mind then? I completely understand your concern when you are sincere in learning English but then native speakers downvote your answer or simply say 'that sounds wrong/down'.
Yes, we have to accept that the way native speakers explain, it is a bit difficult for us to convey our message. Trust me, most of the answers from StoneyB's still make my head spin. But then, it is not always that you need to explain your answer the way linguists do. What all you need is a clear way to express yourself without getting into ambiguity.
But then, you certainly require jargon. Why? Because if you want to convey your message without what you call a fancy name, it'd be restricted to that example and you won't be able to explain it in general.
If there's a jargon, there's a reason behind it'
How you do? - is it a question? NO! Because you need an 'extra 'do'' there. How do you explain it without using the jargon?
How you do? - it's not a question because to form a question, you need an auxiliary verb. 'do' is an auxiliary verb there.
For instance, how would you answer this if someone asks whether this question is correct?
Would you mind to help me?
Now, this question is incorrect. But without jargon or using a fancy name you simply cannot answer it. The asker wants to know why it is incorrect. Even if you know the answer you may simply say...
I think 'Would you mind helping me?' sounds correct to me.
How would you justify this? Is there any rule or the users just have to believe you because you know English? So, you need to explain it using jargon or what you call 'fancy names!'
Check this answer now:
The question in concern is incorrect. The verbs in English grammar follow certain format called 'verb patterns'. The verb
mind is one of the verbs that follow
'-ing pattern. So, it should be 'Would you mind
help helping me?'
You can learn different verb patterns here.
What made the difference in your 'vague' answer? The jargon - verb pattern! You decide, which one sounds better and more convincing? Of course, the latter one.
Now, as I said, if you don't have any technical explanation, you don't address the question generally. You'll have to stick to your answer without giving a solid reason. But, by stating 'verb pattern' you cover many such questions. And, the asker would then appreciate learning it. Even visitors will learn many things with that answer 'with jargon', won't they?
Now, how to come out of this? You should be all eyes and ears on each answer answered by native speakers here. And yes, why just native speakers? Users like Damkerng, MAR, oerkelens, and a few more are no less than native speakers. Check their answers and you'll know that.
It has been over a year for me. Slowly but steadily I understood that how ELL works. Yes, at times, downvotes with no comments or simply natives telling you 'it sounds off' may frustrate you but you need to take it positively. It is their way to 'express themselves' and I don't think they do it with any ill intentions.
There have been times where I wanted to say something wasn't right, but someone has a very formal explanation of why the phrase is grammatical.
Exactly, learn from that answer and try to find other questions similar to it or having the same tags. Try to explain in your words only after learning the 'real' English. Did you do that in the example I wrote about '...would you mind?'
So, to answer this, keep only one thin in your mind - whatever happens here is positive and you need to learn from it. If they say 'sounds off to us', ask them further - why? and the answer they (or even others) give would be no less than an English lesson for you!
What I do? I read English grammar books and prepare notes. Such books explain nicely with jargon. And, not all jargon are difficult to learn! Say -'verb patterns'? huh?
+1 from me as you wrote exactly what I felt once! I know what you are going through as a keen learner.