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5.10.09



http://psychservices.ucsd.edu/resources_students_web/resources_students_images/resources_students_home.jpg-- Believe it or not, overseas students are better at English than their British counterparts.


A new study by Queen's English Society has revealed that British undergraduates make three times as many grammatical, punctuation and spelling mistakes in English than those from the overseas.

Researchers have based their findings on an analysis of the written work produced in the year by final-year students.

The study covered 28 final-year undergraduates' work -- 18 of them British and 10 from overseas (five Singaporeans, four Chinese and one Indonesian).

The study found on average Britons had 52.2 punctuation, grammatical and spelling errors per paper as compared to just 18.8 for the international students, leading British newspaper 'The Independent' reported.

Spelling errors included "flourescence" for "fluorescence", "alot" for "a lot", "seperate" for "separate", "yeild" for "yield", "relevent" for "relevant" and "pail vains" for "pale veins".

"There were hundreds of cases of disagreement in number between subjects and verbs (such as 'male sterility are useful', 'fertility in most breeds have low heritability')," the researchers said.

Wrong plurals -- such as varietys, two theorys and the two hypothesis -- were common, they added.

On punctuation, the researchers said: "Semicolons were often used to introduce lists. Very few students used colons. Some never used possessive apostrophes, and there were many apostrophes used in non-possessive plurals -- 'the cows rectum' and 'the harem's of seals'.

"There were incomplete sentences, lacking a finite verb or a main clause. Illogical or ambiguous statements were frequent -- (such as 'Barr bodies can be used to determine sex present in females but not in males)', 'pass their Xchromosome to half their son' and 'these colonies are then cross with another yeast strain'," they said.

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