Some common ungrammatical/unidiomatic uses of English
i'm a native speaker of English, and in my travels online, there are a few ungrammatical/unidiomatic uses of English that keep cropping up. i usually don't draw attention to them, for two reasons:
- It feels derailing and unnecessary to do so, since most of the time the writer's intended semantics are clear.
- At the point where these are the only things that stand out to me in a non-native speaker's writing, that person's English is far better than my competence in any of the non-English languages with which i have some basic familiarity.
So i've decided to just write an ‘FYI’ post instead. :-)
Setting this allows to save the document in other formats.
isn't gramatically correct. Two possible alternatives here are:
Setting this allows [one|you] to save the document in other formats.
Setting this allows saving the document in other formats.
“I have a doubt”
In most of the contexts i've encountered this, the more appropriate word would be ‘question’ rather than ‘doubt’. For example, instead of:
I've been learning to use X, and I have a doubt. How do I do Y?
I've been learning to use X, and I have a question. How do I do Y?
‘Doubt’ is more appropriately used when you're not sure if X is the case:
I've been told X is the best software for my use-case, but I have some doubts.
“like that:” followed by an example
This isn't idiomatic; use “like this:” instead. For example, instead of:
In gemtext, blockquotes are indicated by a greater-than symbol, like that: '>'
In gemtext, blockquotes are indicated by a greater-than symbol, like this: '>'