purrple (purrple_267) wrote in linguaphiles,

English questions

Hi everyone,
I'm new here. =) Native language is Latvian, I also know English, Russian and German and am currently a freshman studying technical translation (and working as a technical translator).

In the tests we take (I suspect they're TOEFL, but I could be imagining things), I often see this construction 'It is important/necessary/obligatory/whatever that the data be verified'. Looks neat to me, but I don't think I've seen these kind of sentences use principal form outside these tests. Is this an American thing?

Also, I don't get the seemingly random capitalization. When I see something capitalized, I check if it is perhaps a brand name, a program, button or anything like that and 9 times out of 10 it is just a normal word. On what basis does one capitalize regular words and expressions?

And, last, but not least - can someone suggest a good site dealing with punctuation? 'Cause I've never learned anything of it. In 12 years of school, it boiled down to 'it's all optional! :)', 'commas don't really matter! :)' or 'we're not studying that yet!'.

Also, looking over my entry, how to avoid the subject of the sentences? Every time I write something, the text looks like 'I, I, I, I, I, I, me, me, me, I, ME!!!'

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