I'm a monolinguist but have had a bad experience on English Language & Usage (EL&U).

Might I break any (site-specific) rule for asking questions here instead of EL&U?

Sure I could get better answers

you may get a more detailed answer

but let's say I don't care about that. Like is there anything on-topic EL&U that is off-topic in English language Learners (ELL)?


Economics SE vs Quant SE?


1 Answer 1


Yes there are things which would be on-topic on the ELU.SE site and not on-topic on the ELL.SE site.

ELL is aimed at those who are learning English. Questions need not be from people who are actually learning English, but must be of a nature calculated to help such people.

Technical questions about linguistics, or advanced issues of grammar and usage which would not be helpful to a learner are generally not on topic here. Fine points which would only be of interest to one who is already a fluent speaker would be off topic here. Those might well be on-topic at ELU. As you will see at https://ell.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic specifically on-topic are:

  • Word choice, usage, and meaning
  • Grammar
  • Dialect differences
  • Spelling and punctuation
  • Pronunciation and accents
  • Other practical problems you encounter or face while learning English

Specifically mentioned as being better suited to other suites are:

  • Etymology, evolution of the English language, or historical English – you may get a more detailed answer at english.stackexchange.com
  • Writing advice – see writing.stackexchange.com instead
  • Questions about language learning techniques and their effectiveness - see languagelearning.stackexchange.com

I am sorry to hear that you had a bad experience over at ELU. There are many posters there, of quite varied temperaments and interests. it may be that your experience was specific to the particular people you interacted with. I haven't read your posts there, so I have no real basis for an opinion. Still if you have a question better suited to ELU than to ELL, you might want to try ELU again.

Also if a question is posted to ELL that seems more appropriate to ELU, it can be and might well be migrated to ELU. Similarly, questions posted to ELU that are better suited to ELL often are migrated here.

Please do not post the same question to both sites at the same time.

Feel free to ask more specifically here on ELL Meta if particular kinds of questions are welcome here. You might also want to read the Contributor's Guide to ELL

  • 1
    'Technical questions about linguistics, or advanced issues of grammar and usage which would not be helpful to a learner are generally not on topic here.' --> examples please
    – BCLC
    Dec 27, 2022 at 0:36
  • @BCLC As an example, most questions about Old English and origins of words would be unsuitable here, and although interesting, would be generally useless for learners. It's one of the reasons why EL&U split, as time passed, more and more questions were deemed too simplistic and "basic" for "experts" to answer. However, many users recognised that these requests deserved to be taken seriously and answered properly and so ELL was created. This doesn't mean there are no fuzzy boundaries between the two sites, there are, but ideally, ELL questions help learners get to grips with English.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 29, 2022 at 10:40

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