BBC Learning English 英语教学

Love and grammar 爱情和语法

Good spelling makes you look good

Vocabulary: education 词汇: 教育

Are you looking for love? When you want to impress a potential girlfriend or boyfriend, you take great care with your appearance and try to be on your best behaviour. But… what about your grammar? Do you check if you are using verbs and commas properly?


If not, you'd better think again. The research arm of dating site OKCupid has suggested that bad grammar can ruin your love life. It looked at 500,000 first contacts on the site and concluded that "netspeak, bad grammar and bad spelling are huge turn-offs".

On the other hand, the correct use of apostrophes seems to be quite an aphrodisiac. Using "don't" and "won't" caused better than average response rates, says the research.

American writer Twist Phelan, who went on 100 online dates in 100 days and later married someone she met online, believes that grammar is an important "filter system" for prospective partners. She says: "If you're trying to date a woman, I don't expect flowery Jane Austen prose. But aren't you trying to put your best foot forward?"

Perhaps you think you are ready to start looking for an English-speaking girlfriend or boyfriend. Am I right? You go online; look at the picture and start calling him or her "beautiful", "gorgeous" and "sexy" before you meet. Will it work? The research says it won't! The wrong adjective can put a full stop on a potential relationship. People enjoy receiving compliments but not when they sound like a pick-up line.

General compliments such as "cool", "it's nice that…" and "awesome" got good responses from the dating site users.

So now you are ready. Keep your wits about you because many things online are not what they seem; and watch your vocabulary and punctuation.

Some say that a comma might even save lives - as in the example: "Let's eat, my darling!" as opposed to "Let's eat my darling!"

Can you see which one would grant you a meal with your date and which one would land you in jail?

Glossary 词汇表 (点击单词收听发音)



Copyright ©