is one of our forum founders and can be described as the backbone of the community. He started his forum career on September 23 in 2003 and ever since that has helped thousands of forum members learn and improve their English. The first thing he does in the morning is go down to his home office and check the latest forum posts. He always looks forward to answering any of your grammar or vocabulary questions. Since Alan has several decades of "English as a Second Language" experience under his belt, you can be sure to rely on him as an incredible resource of knowledge. What's more, Alan will answer your questions in a very straightforward and clear manner as he can explain even the most complex grammar issues in a language that any ESL learner understands. And that's by far not everything you can expect from Alan. You'll probably agree that most grammar explanations are rather dry and boring and as a result they are difficult to remember. That's why Alan has developed the habit of spicing up any of his forum posts with a bit of his subtle British humour. The style of his answers is very different from your typical grammar books and often reads like an anecdote. If you ask him about a language item he will give you examples that show you exactly how to use that particular phrase.
In addition to answering your grammar and vocabulary questions, Alan is a great conversationalist who is going to engage you in inspiring discussions about a variety of topics. For example, he might ask you to share your 'pet hates' or enjoy the amazing sight of an iceberg picture. At any rate you should take the opportunity to meet Alan on the forum today.
Amy's forum name is "Yankee". She joined our community on April 16 in 2006. As her nickname implies, Amy is from the US and she explained the meaning of the word "Yankee" in one of her first posts. As a business English teacher and translator she worked several years in Germany before she returned to her homeland in late 2006. Whenever you have a question about life and language in the USA, Amy should be your choice. She spends several hours every day answering forum questions and has become one of the most active online experts on American English. Since she spent a significant amount of time in Germany, she also knows quite a lot about the cultural differences between both countries and of course she is familiar with most of the German idiosyncrasies.
At some point you must have asked yourself if there are phrases in American English a British person would not understand and vice versa. Well, Amy can give you a unique insight into the world of American English pointing out expressions that originated in the US. For example, did you know that Americans often say "it's ten of five" instead of "it's ten to five" or that "Voke Track" is a term that refers to the vocational training system in the US? Amy is capable of giving very detailed explanations of any grammar issue you have and always adds a bit of her American perspective. So if you are interested in the peculiarities of American English, you can turn to Amy any time.
If you have read Charles Dickens' novel 'David Copperfield' you probably remember the character Wilkins Micawber. Now, Mr. Micawber is back you can meet him in person on our forum. Charles (aka Mister Micawber), a Canadian language teacher who lived in the US after moving to Japan, will edit your essays, correct your grammar mistakes and explain the origin of idioms whenever you want. He has been an active forum moderator and member of our online community since July 17, 2005. Charles' wife is Japanese and since Charles has lived in worked in Yokohama, he knows all the nuances of Japanese culture, cuisine and on top of that, he can give you a unique insight into the ESL/EFL market in Japan. Also, if you are preparing for the TOEIC test, you should turn to Charles for advice and support because he used to work for ETS, the organization that creates and administers the TOEIC. You can benefit directly from his experience as a TOEIC question creator by completing the tests on our site some of them were written by Charles so you assess and improve your TOEIC language skills. It goes without saying that you can ask Charles any other question too. He sometimes responds within a couple of minutes and you will be amazed by the clarity and brevity of his answers. You will also notice that Charles is an extremely adroit Internet forum user and he will be more than happy to share all his online tips and tricks with you. For example, Charles can teach you how to use google properly, how to edit and format your forum posts and even how to create your own website if that's what you want. As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why you should get to know Charles on the forum today.
You should know that "Jamie" is the short form of the name "James"? Well, on our forum we have a member whose nickname is "Jamie (K)" and maybe you can deduce his real name? Yes, you've guessed that right. His first name is "James" and his surname starts with the letter K. As a matter of fact, Jamie's family name is the German word for "a janitor in the church". Jamie is a US American professor of linguistics and works as a self-employed English language instructor in the Detroit area. His students and clients come from all walks of life from US immigrants to business executives of Detroit based automobile manufacturers. On top of his mother tongue, English Jamie speaks several other languages fluently. In the 90ies he lived and worked in Prague and during his stay he learned what life in the Czech Republic is all about. Since Jamie has a great interest in political and social issues, he observed the situation in the Czech Republic very carefully to compare it against the system in the US. If you want to learn about cultural differences between East European countries and the USA, you should ask Jamie K to share his knowledge with you. For example, he can tell you exactly what problems speakers of Czech or Russian experience when learning English, how to deal with Czech authorities or how to communicate with business people from Eastern Europe. In addition to linguistics and languages there are other topics you can talk about with Jamie. In his free time he practices aikido, a Japanese martial art and he will be more than happy to answer any of the questions you might have regarding this sport. Jamie has also worked in the advertising industry where he created a variety of materials and tag lines so if you are interested in marketing he will be a great partner for discussion. Another area where Jamie can share his expertise with you is the stock exchange market. He has been investing his money very wisely and will give you advice on how to make the biggest profits out of your hard earned cash. Oh, and there is more you can learn from Jamie. Ever since he was a child he has been repairing things around the house and as a result he has come across all kinds of technical problems. So now you can turn to him if you need to describe the functions and features of a technical device or a production process. Because he has taught English to auto industry engineers, he has a specially good understanding of the language used in car manufacturing. And as a self-employed language trainer Jamie also drives his own SUV and can tell you which model and make is best.
It's high time you met Jamie K on our forum so you can start improving your English and learning about life.
My nickname is a derivative of my cat Kitos name, and the fact that my friends say, "Kito, here's your Dad coming. ergo, KITOSDAD. He was born in Hartlepool, County of Durham where he went to Junior school, followed by secondary modern, finalising at Technical Day High School after having passes an entry exam at 11 years of age. I studied engineering and left school without any qualifications whatsoever at the age of 15 which was early due to my father being unable to work due to an industrial injury, and being the only child, I had to try to supplement the family income somehow. Had many jobs, most of them mundane, until I managed to land the position of Shift Engineer in the local gas company, and I was employed initially in the commissioning, and later, the day to day operation of the plant producing towns gas from petroleum distillate.
Having left the plant after 12 years service, due to its closure, I started a Plumbing and Kitchen showroom business, and I was directly involved in all of the aspects of ownership. After my wife became proficient in running the business with other staff, I then branched out into the fitting of bathroom and kitchen equipment.
In 1984 we decided to move to Torquay where we lived in happy "retirement" until we went our seperate ways in 2000.. I decided to move to Germany where I had spent three happy years in Her Majesty's employ earlier in my youth.
I really enjoy helping people learn English on the forum and I look forward to meeting you.
When you google 'lost soul' you will find millions of pages and they all relate to one of the many meanings the term may have. Well, since September 15, 2006 the phrase has been used by our forum member Alex who comes from Moscow and is a great fan of "South Park". You might want to know that the Russian name "Alexander" has multiple short forms such as Alex, Sasha, Sanya or even Sashko to list but a few. But there is just one single short form of Alex's username and that is "SL" which stands for "lost soul" of course. If that's too confusing, you should simply forget about all these names and ask Alex a question about his language learning techniques because his English is really great. He works as a programmer in the Russian capital and has a typical Russian sense of humour. For example, his forum mantra (or signature line) is "I'm a non-native speaker of AmE". This can mean a number of things such as that he prefers the American brand of English or that he wants to stress the fact he is a non-native speaker of English. Whatever the reasoning behind his slogan might be, Alex is a pretty lively online character who has an opinion on political issues such as corruption and the tax system which he can express in clear and precise English. I think he knows all the South Park episodes by heart and takes a special interest in US American slang and rap language. Because of his professional background you can seek computer advice from Alex and talk shop about programming problems. In the early days of his forum membership Alex was asking primarily grammar and vocabulary questions until he realized that he can discuss any topic with our users, trainers and moderators. He soon struck a friendly relationship with a lot of other forum members and started to exchange his ideas, which has now turned into one of his favourite pastimes. You can meet him on the forum almost every day and he never runs out of intriguing questions and witty remarks on a multitude of topics.
If you have any English grammar or vocabulary questions,
please post them on this English Grammar Forum.