I agree too, and I think it’s quite understandable for a teacher to say things like this. The inevitable result of admitting that the words are not strict synonyms is having to answer, “What’s the difference?”. As we’ve seen this is difficult enough for native speakers. I would be very tempted to agree that they are complete synonyms too in a classroom situation. It’s a simple choice between telling a little white lie, and committing yourself to another ten minutes of work before the next class (and multiply that by the number of “What’s the difference?” questions you let yourself in for per day).
Given that, it’s not so much a sign of inadequacy as one of self-preservation.
Off-topicOriginally Posted by Bobk
Although this cluster isn't at all strange for my language, ironically, this is not the case where it's present... It's one of the cases in which English speakers borrowed the spelling and not the pronunciation. And not only did they borrow just the spelling but also got rid of the diacritics. It's "złoty" with a barred "l" originally. It's pronounced /zwɔtɨ/. Another example is "kielbasa" which is "kiełbasa" in Polish.
Last edited by birdeen's call; 01-Sep-2010 at 20:30.