Thursday, October 18, 2007

Teaching ESL to "Somebody" or "Someone"

One of the small things some ESL students ask about is the difference between "somebody" and "someone." Is there any difference?

According to Swan, there is no significant difference between these two words. He says that "someone" is more common and "somebody" is a little more informal.

This is one those differences that it's really difficult to teach ESL students. A native English speaker will usually have a better feel of which to use in a given situation. Someone speaking English as a Second Language may have more difficulty hearing or knowing which sounds a little better.

The difference in the meaning between these two words is really minimal, but it serves as an example of how the advanced use of the English language has to come from experience and maybe even an internalization of the language.


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