1- What is the difference between "city"and "country"?
2- Why are there many different words in English have the same meanings, e.g., mistake - error - wrong - false,
right - correct - true ??
3- Where can I use "at" and "in"?
Maybe this sound unrelated to the question. But, as far as I know, an Error is Different to a Mistake. In case of a "Mistake" we know the rules, but due to some reasons such as fatigue, forgetness, etc. we fail to use or obey the rule. An example might be the case with ESL students who despite knowing the rule for adding an "s" to the end of verbs for third person singular fail to use it with ease. However, in the case of "Errors" we don't know what the rule for doing Sth is. (not a teacher...)
The wonderful variability of the language derives from the many sources for it - Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Jute, Danish, Latin, Greek, Old French. It allows us many synonyms and a richness of expression.
But words that have the same meaning make a learner confused.
I mean that I know what the word "right" means but don't know what the words "true" and "correct" mean, thinking that the word "right" is enough to know and use it, so when a person says the word "true" actually I will think of any meaning other than "right" and this is what happened to me with the words "fog" and "mist" in the exam at college.
You can't sort it out unless you live in an English speaking country for a while, or pay enough attention to the collocations associating those words. That is, you gradually come to an unconscious understanding of which possible contexts they're used in. Parts of the elements comprising a word are determined by the contexts they're used in as well as the words associating them. (to start I'd suggest you should check items you find problematic in Oxford Collocations Dictionary.)
Not a teacher...just a suggestion...
The first thing I was taught in linguistics class (semantics, specifically) - there's no such thing as a synonym.
That is, no two words mean exactly the same thing - in any language, English included. This is, of course, not including words like sidewalk vs. pavement as synonyms (which are still not really synonymous - the difference is one is American, the other isn't).
As Anglika said, the diversity of vocabulary is due to a diversity of influence. This can be both a help and a hinderance.
A rose is a type of flower.
A rose is a member of Rosaceae Rosa genus, which is only one of many families and genuses of flowering plants.
Most flowers are not roses.
The following things, for example, are flowers, but not roses: lilies, tulips, daffodils, daisies, pansies, carnations, geraniums ...
A flower, on the other hand, is the reproductive unit of any flowering plant, and comes in a large variety of forms. The flower is the part of the plant which has petals (usually) and a stamen and pistil - the pollen-producing male component and the ovary.
Rose - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Another new question is:
How can you differentiate between female names and male names in English and how can you pronounce them?
In my language we can differentiate between them easily and clearly from their names. There are special names for female and special names for male and those names can't be mixed at all.
But English names are difficult to pronounce and differentiate between them.
Last edited by Amal-30; 10-Feb-2010 at 08:31.