Synonyms for “what language” are very common in everyday life.
But they are very different from “what is the most common language” and are not very helpful in determining whether a language is truly spoken or is just a set of rules or slang.
Synonyms are also useful for determining what other languages you are likely to encounter in your life, but not necessarily the language you want to be speaking.
“I can’t speak English, I can’t even speak the language I like, but I know what language I use,” says Sarah Ehrhardt, a professor of English at Georgetown University.
Ehrstad is one of the few researchers who has studied synonyms and their meanings in everyday language, and she says they offer an important window into how people use language.
“When we study language, we often have to be very careful about the meaning of words and phrases,” she says.
“In some ways it is very important that language is not defined by words and that its meaning is in the context of meaning, rather than words and their meaning.”
It’s important to note, however, that there is a lot of room for error when it comes to synonyms.
In the past, there were two major groups of synonyms, which were called the most familiar and the least familiar.
The most familiar were the words that were used almost every day, like “I want to drink coffee” and “I am going to the gym.”
These were generally used to describe the same activity, but the most unfamiliar words were those that were only spoken or written in one language, such as “my grandmother” and so on.
The least familiar were those words that people often didn’t use often enough, such to “what time of day is it?” or “when are you going to get home?”
It’s easy to see why this was a problem.
“If you have two or three words that you never use, it’s hard to be specific,” says Ehrstads colleague John Furlong.
“You have to say, ‘I am a person of this culture, I am not someone who is not used to that word.’
You have to make that clear.
You have a lot more of a choice, so people use it more.”
Ehrstadt and Furlongs research suggests that synonyms help us understand why some people use a word and some people don’t.
In one study, they compared how people would describe the meaning and use of words such as this: “I had to leave the gym because I couldn’t keep up with the speed.”
The word “stop” is used in a slightly different context in this sentence.
It is used to say “don’t go to the door,” so the meaning is that someone has to stop.
“It’s very important to be able to understand what the other person is using as a synonym for what they are saying,” says Furlongo.
But even if a synonomous word is often used in everyday conversation, it still may not be the most useful synonym.
“A synonym is often the first word that comes to mind and we have to know what the context is,” says Kari Olander, a research psychologist at the University of Washington.
“We often need to be a little more precise.”
Synonyms can be very useful when we’re talking about a person who speaks a different language than our own.
“Synonyms are a good tool when it’s really difficult to get specific and know what is the person saying,” Ehrsted says.
That’s because they can provide us with a context that is helpful in deciding whether we want to speak to that person in a specific language.
If we want our friend to know about the new fad in the neighborhood, for example, it might be helpful to say something like “she has a new fashions thing she’s got going on,” so that the friend knows we don’t have any particular knowledge of the fashion.
This is called a “conjunctional” synonym, and it can help us to know whether the person means, for instance, “she was going to be wearing a dress in the summertime.”
It can also help us determine whether a person uses a word like this: It’s hard for me to tell if this is really a compliment, but she is really nice.
Synonym pairs that are more common than synonyms Synonyms and synonyms are often used together in everyday English.
“There are two or more synonyms that are often paired together,” says Olander.
That is because there are two ways to say a word, or a phrase, and synonym pairs help us differentiate between those two ways of saying the same thing.
In English, “I was sitting on the sidewalk,” is a synonyms pairing, while “the street is full of people” is a singular synonym pairing.
In French, the word “street” means “a place where people gather.”
This means that