I'm some new to this stack exchange community. Over the last weeks I've been posting different kinds of problems to my best ability. Some of them had drawings or sketches (the best which I could make them) to illustrate my doubts and confusion.

However some of those like hunters and bullets and competition rankings have pointed out my poor grammar.

Because of this, I feel ashamed. Although English is not my mother language I have to use it and well, most of what I do know comes by self taught and occasional courses. Does this means my questions and doubts should pass through a translation aid software?. Sometimes I use bing or google translate but as you might understand it is not perfect neither really translates properly the intended meaning in a question. Since I have been advised not to use mathjax unless really needed such as avoiding it to use for making lists, does this means should I read some grammar books as well?.

Honestly I wish my skills are not detrimental in the quality of the puzzles which I do present in this site. I think for me some are challenging and because of this I feel them inviting to learn from them, something which I haven't done in years. But again, does this means am I trespassing any norm here?. Although I am aware of the guidelines regarding the questions, to double check if my question already had an answer could be troublesome, because not all the titles really do describe the puzzles with accuracy.

Perhaps does it exist a way to ease the problem with my communication skills in the sense of a reference for english used in puzzles context? as I feel sometimes I am not sure if a word is more appropiate in a given context rather than other word.

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    $\begingroup$ (A few people may elaborate on their thoughts about this, but I will keep mine short.) This is my initial reaction: Do not worry. We are not going to (and no one should) push you away just because your English skills are not yet perfect. I advise you keep learning more, but other than that, there are people in this site who are greatly willing to help you. $\endgroup$
    – oAlt
    Nov 9, 2020 at 3:52
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    $\begingroup$ I also wanted to comment here that you are welcome here on the site. Having a hard time with English is nothing to be ashamed of, and there are many Puzzling users who also learned English as a second language. They absolutely know how you feel. If you ever need help with writing a question on the site, please don't be afraid to reach out. A great option would be the English Language Learners chatroom! chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/24938/language-overflow $\endgroup$
    – Sciborg
    Nov 9, 2020 at 3:54
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    $\begingroup$ @oAlt I'm glad to know that it doesn't seem to affect the quality of the puzzles presented, I'll take notice on your advise regarding asking for help. $\endgroup$ Nov 16, 2020 at 20:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Sciborg Thanks for your comment. I was not aware that it existed a chat room for this matter. I'll take a look into it. I didn't know there were also many Puzzling users who shared my problem with language skills, since few ones do write a profile description on this matter its not easy to guess who are them. $\endgroup$ Nov 16, 2020 at 20:15
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    $\begingroup$ One comment on "I have been advised not to use mathjax unless really needed such as avoiding it to use for making lists" - I suspect this isn't saying "don't use lists" but "Don't use mathjax for lists". The standard markdown syntax allows for lists perfectly fine and more easily. See puzzling.meta.stackexchange.com/editing-help for details on how lists can work. If you can't express what you need to with standard markdown I'm sure people will accept mathjax. But you shouldn't use it when not necessary because it is much worse in terms of readability and accessibility than markdown. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Nov 17, 2020 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ @entioneveryone - the grammar errors in this post are an important part of its context. Fixing them was discussed in chat at the time of posting and decided against. $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Nov 27, 2020 at 6:04
  • $\begingroup$ @bobble There's 2 messages addressing it, right? $\endgroup$ Nov 27, 2020 at 12:55
  • $\begingroup$ My decision to rollback was agreed on by Bubbler here. (I would've waited, but I had to go to sleep). If you want to discuss then I'll be in chat. $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Nov 27, 2020 at 16:18

3 Answers 3


Your English is fine

Hi, I'm bobble. I have been the one editing most of your posts. (If you want me to, I will go back and edit your old ones.)

Your English is fine. I will repeat this as often as necessary. It is not perfect. But it is good enough that I can understand it. And that's all that really matters. You have been nice and accepting of my grammar edits. That's not something that everyone does. I am fine with continuing to edit each new question you post.

Yes, we are an English-speaking site. Yes, it is obvious from the way you write that English is not easy for you. But it is also obvious that you put effort into your questions. It is obvious that you try hard to make your questions understandable. That's all we ask - that you try. Because you try, I can understand your questions. I can then edit it so that others will understand it as well. Your English does not make your puzzles worse.

Having not-perfect English skills is nothing to be ashamed of. If you want to improve your English, you could join English Language Learners Stack Exchange (ELL.SE). This is a place you can ask basic questions about English and get helpful answers. They also have many questions already asked, which you can search for answers. You could also go to their chatroom to talk with people who can help.

Finally - I edit out MathJax for lists because it's not needed. Using Markdown makes the page render better. It also is easier for the browser to read your question and know that it is a list. Screen readers also have an easier time identifying it as a list.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer. Its a reielf to know that the quality of my puzzles aren't that bad due my language skills. However I hope that with the time you nice gesture of fixing my grammar to be less necessary. Its also my concern which doesn't consume much of your time by doing this. Since I'm a new user or kind of I wasn't aware of the existence of such sites which I will check them as well. Regarding the use of mathjax I came used to it, but if it renders easily without its usage I will minimize its inclusion in my questions when they are required. $\endgroup$ Nov 16, 2020 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ Here is a simple rule on how to use MathJax. Can you display something with just your keyboard characters? If yes, don't use MathJax. If no, then MathJax is okay. For example, a complicated table requires MathJax to display. A complex equation with square roots, fractions, summations, or other non-simple symbols may require MathJax. A numbered list, or a simple arithmetic equation, can be easily typed with just your keyboard, so you should not use MathJax. $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Nov 16, 2020 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ Sometimes I did had problems with making tables with mathjax so I had to draw them using other software and uploading it as a drawing. But I'll follow your suggestion. $\endgroup$ Nov 16, 2020 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ Pictures are also fine! $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Nov 16, 2020 at 20:40

In addition to @bobble's answer, remember that other users might edit your posts to fix the issues in there.

I'm not an English speaker either and it happened a lot of times to my posts, I find it very useful because it is an opportunity to improve your English skills. I learned different words and the correct grammar forms to express my sentences and also which are the correct prepositions to use (;

Welcome to PSE and don't worry too much about your English. Here you can learn more about how editing works.

  • $\begingroup$ Its nice to know that there are other non english users in this community but as I mentioned in other comments above it is not easy to know who are them as few ones do mention this fact in their profile pages. So I really have no idea. Thanks for placing that link in your answer as that cleared some of my doubts. $\endgroup$ Nov 16, 2020 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe we don't mention it because... it's not important! Have fun with puzzles, whatever your native country is! $\endgroup$
    – melfnt
    Nov 16, 2020 at 20:45
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps change the other users will edit your posts to other users might edit your posts, as there are countless posts currently on the site that uses flawed grammar. $\endgroup$ Nov 24, 2020 at 18:27
  • $\begingroup$ @entioneveryone done! You could have edited it yourself (: $\endgroup$
    – melfnt
    Nov 24, 2020 at 19:16
  • $\begingroup$ @melfnt I know, but what if it deviates from your initial intention? $\endgroup$ Nov 24, 2020 at 19:57

Yes, there is no problem with bad grammar as long as it does not affect the overall meaning of the problem. You may actually have Grammarly to help you with that.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the comment. I knew about Grammarly but I haven't used. The tools which I mostly used were are mentioned google translation or bing. When I was in doubt for some term then I used thesaurus online. But I'll give a try. $\endgroup$ Nov 16, 2020 at 20:37
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    $\begingroup$ Oh yeah, one more thing. Grammarly Free is not really the best shot, but Grammarly Premium is basically having an English Professor next to you. I mean I am in 6th grade and don't know any professor, but it is sort of an exaggeration . $\endgroup$
    – user69881
    Nov 17, 2020 at 11:09

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