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Thread: I am beginner in English

  1. #1
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    I am beginner in English

    Hi -

    (native speaker here with a question about my own language)

    I just this sig (from user Muscovite) "I am beginner in English". It doesn't sound right but I'm not sure which of these alternatives is better...

    1. I am a beginner in English.
    2. I am a beginner with English.
    3. I am a beginner at English.
    4. I am a beginner at the English language.

    I think the last one feels best, but they all feel a bit akward... Maybe i'm just thinking too hard.
    Пожалуйста, исправляйте мои ошибки.

  2. #2
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    Re: I am beginner in English

    Quote Originally Posted by noheat
    Hi -

    (native speaker here with a question about my own language)

    I just this sig (from user Muscovite) "I am beginner in English". It doesn't sound right but I'm not sure which of these alternatives is better...

    1. I am a beginner in English.
    2. I am a beginner with English.
    3. I am a beginner at English.
    4. I am a beginner at the English language.

    I think the last one feels best, but they all feel a bit akward... Maybe i'm just thinking too hard.

    When you read a bunch of sentences that are similar in meaning and all a little different grammatically, it can mess with your perception.

    Off the top of my head, it seems more correct to say that somebody is a beginner at something. I think both #3 and #4 are correct, with #4 simply being more explicit.
    "Сейчас без языка нельзя... из тебя шапку сделают..."
    Cogito Ergo Doleo

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    Re: I am beginner in English

    Thanks a lot, guys!
    Please do not hesitate to correct my English.

  4. #4
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    Re: I am beginner in English

    Quote Originally Posted by noheat
    Hi -

    (native speaker here with a question about my own language)

    I just this sig (from user Muscovite) "I am beginner in English". It doesn't sound right but I'm not sure which of these alternatives is better...

    1. I am a beginner in English.
    2. I am a beginner with English.
    3. I am a beginner at English.
    4. I am a beginner at the English language.

    I think the last one feels best, but they all feel a bit akward... Maybe i'm just thinking too hard.
    None of them is correct, however #2 is the most palatable. The problem is that the term "beginner" completes your clause. So in order to correctly express the thought using the construct you have presented, you would have to say: I am a beginner, in regard to the English language.

    The use of "beginner" in this construct is very colloquial, so if you want to sound correct, your best bet is to change it for a better word. For example, a far more appropriate way of making the point would be to simply say: I have only recently begun my study of the English language.

    Of course I can't ignore the irony in all of this -- correctly expressing such a thought through proper use of advanced grammatical constructs is not something a beginner would do.

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    Re: I am beginner in English

    it seems that my sign is very contradictory between native English speakers.
    So I had wanted to write a short sign where was reflected my level of knowledge at the English language.
    But I see that I cannot write short sentence in this case because this sentense loses a mean. Is it a true?
    Please do not hesitate to correct my English.

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    Re: I am beginner in English

    Quote Originally Posted by Muscovite
    it seems that my signature is very controversial between native English speakers.
    So, I was trying to write a short signature that reflected my level of knowledge in the English language, but I see that I cannot write a short sentence in this case because it would lose its meaning. Is that right?

    No, there are ways that you can declare yourself a beginner in a short sentence. Instead of giving you a long list of possible choices, I suggest simply removing the first sentence.

    All the information you need is really contained in the second sentence, anyway. You could just say, "Please do not hesitate to correct my English", and that would tell everyone everything they needed to know.
    "Сейчас без языка нельзя... из тебя шапку сделают..."
    Cogito Ergo Doleo

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    Re: I am beginner in English

    Yes, You are right regarding of my signature. I had (cut) shortened it. (how is this right -cut or shorten?)

    But I do not understand your remark about prepositions at/in. Could you please explane me something?
    In first case, you told that this is correct to write at English (I am a beginner at English)
    Now you had corrected on in. "...that reflected my level of knowledge in the English language.
    Why? Where is a difference?
    Please do not hesitate to correct my English.

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    Re: I am beginner in English

    Quote Originally Posted by Muscovite
    Yes, You are right regarding of my signature. I had (cut) shortened it. (how is this right -cut or shorten?)

    But I do not understand your remark about prepositions at/in. Could you please explane me something?
    In first case, you told that this is correct to write at English (I am a beginner at English)
    Now you had corrected on in. "...that reflected my level of knowledge in the English language.
    Why? Where is a difference?
    You’d better avoid using the Past Perfect for the time being. Make sure you’ve learned when to use it first. It’s not that necessary for a beginner anyway. I think even the native English speakers don’t use it too often; go with the Past Indefinite instead.

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    Re: I am beginner in English

    alexB, Do you speak about my phrase "Now you had corrected on in. "...?
    Please do not hesitate to correct my English.

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    Re: I am beginner in English

    So I had wanted to write a short sign where was reflected my level of knowledge at the English language.
    Yes, You are right regarding of my signature. I had (cut) shortened it. (how is this right -cut or shorten?)
    Now you had corrected on in. "...that reflected my level of knowledge in the English language.
    Во всех этих предложениях Past Perfect ни к чему. Там много конечно и другого, что не совсем к чему, но кто не ошибается - тот не учится.

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    Re: I am beginner in English

    I think it sounds somewhat better to say ". . . my level of knowledge of the English language." Also see: http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/knowledge It isn't that "in" is wrong here. I don't know if there is a grammar rule that applies but in actual use the preposition "of" follows the noun "knowledge" much more often. And In the case of the noun "beginner" I think you find that the prepositions "at" or "in" are used more often.

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    Re: I am beginner in English

    Quote Originally Posted by Muscovite
    Yes, You are right regarding _ my signature. I have shortened it. (Which is _ right, cut or shorten?)

    But I do not understand your remark about the prepositions at/in. Could you please explain?
    It's more common to say that you are a beginner at [a subject]. For example: I'm a beginner at dancing.

    However, we usually say, in [a language]. For example: How do you say ponce in Russian?

    In this case, you have two kinds of expressions, each "asking" for a different preposition. I think it was better to say "at" there because it's more urgent (to my ear, at least) to satisfy the "beginner at" requirement.

    I don't think I explained that very well, but that's how it seems to me.

    (Edit: I screwed that up. I was so intent on explaining in a way that made sense, I completely lost the plot on what I was trying to explain. Part of the problem is that native speakers would probably avoid this whole issue and use a completely different construction. They would be more likely to say, "I'm just starting out in English," or "I've only just begun learning English." Those both sound better than any of the original examples.)
    "Сейчас без языка нельзя... из тебя шапку сделают..."
    Cogito Ergo Doleo

  13. #13
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    Re: I am beginner in English

    Thank you all. I'll try to learn all this.
    Please do not hesitate to correct my English.

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