Common Questions About The English Language

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‘A number of people is’ or ‘a number of people are’?

Which is correct: ‘a number of people is’ or ‘a number of people are’ - or are they both acceptable in standard English? Find out.

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Are there any English words with no vowels?

Although most words are made up of both consonants and vowels, there are a handful of words in English that don’t have any vowels at all…

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Can you use "when’re"?

Is it incorrect to use 'when're' as an abbreviation of 'when are'? We have consulted our corpus to find out how often the contraction is used.

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Does English have more words than any other language?

Are there more words in English than other languages? It’s a tricky question to answer.

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How many words are there in the English language?

How many words are there in the English language? This question might be much more difficult to answer that you thought. This article explains why.

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How Many Words Begin With X?

How many words can you think of beginning with the letter ‘x’? What about if they can only be up to eight letters long? (Sorry, that means xylophone is out.)

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Is agenda singular or plural?

Plurals of English words borrowed from Latin can be tricky. Here we explain how to pluralise 'agenda'.

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Is it "colored pencil" or "color pencil"?

Which one is correct to say: 'colored pencil' or 'color pencil'? We have consulted our corpus to find out the answer.

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Is the letter "Y" a vowel or a consonant?

The letter Y can be used to represent different sounds in different words, so how should it be classified – as a vowel or consonant?

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What Are The Plurals Of "Octopus," "Hippopotamus," and "Syllabus"?

Some words that end in the letter 's' are difficult to turn into plurals. This page will explain some of the more difficult ones, such as 'octopus'.

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What do you call a group of boys (and other people)?

Groups of people and groups of animals have some very interesting names. This page takes you through some of the collective nouns to describe these things.

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What Is The Difference Between Old English And Anglo-Saxon?

Old English and Anglo-Saxon are often used interchangeably, but is it correct to do this? If you’ve ever wondered about it, this page will clear up everything.

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Why do some words end in double consonants?

Consonants in English are always pronounced with the same length, so why is it that some words end in double consonants when written down?

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Why do some words start with a silent "H"?

Silent letters can make learning English spellings tricky. Take a look at some words that start with a silent ‘h’ – and some that used to, but don’t anymore.

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Why do we use ‘first, second,..’ and not ‘firstly, secondly...’?

First, second, third or firstly, secondly, thirdly? Well, go forth and explore the rules in our article, where you can also watch our handy video.

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Why is the alphabet arranged the way it is?

We learn the order of the letters in the alphabet when we are very young, but have you ever wondered why they have the order that they do?

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Why Is The Letter "F" Used Instead Of "S" In Old-Fashioned Spellings?

F? S? You’d be forgiven for getting them confused when looking at old manuscripts. So, why did the letter ‘s’ sometimes look like the letter ‘f’?

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Why Is "W" Pronounced "Double U" Rather Than "Double V"?

The letter W is usually written in a way that looks more like double-v than double-u, so how did it get its name? The answer takes us back to the 7th century…