Why do your posts disappear after they are answered?

English Learner

Why do your posts disappear after they are answered? Do you delete them or does this forum delete them?

Dear Canadian45,

We often remove posts that don’t contain a useful message. For example, if somebody writes ‘answer’, ‘meaning of this sentence’ or ‘what is coin?’ it doesn’t make sense to post an answer because that user will not return to read what we write. There are detailed instructions on how to use this forum feature. The following text appears next to each test question:

"Please read BEFORE you post

How to take this test?

If you want to get an explanation on any of the test questions you can write a message. The system automatically adds your test question, the answer options and your selected answer to the forum. All you have to do is write your message (question). Your name is optional."

After a user posts their message to the forum, two bold links appear in red to make sure the poster will find their message on the forum.

Please let me know what you think.

TOEIC listening, photographs: A mountain walk[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Canadian45

Are you referring to posts that have actually disappeared or possibly to cases where English Learner’s name has simply been changed to the real name?

If I’m not mistaken, when a non-registered person posts a question about one of the test questions, the system automatically names the poster “English Learner”.

If the person has signed their question with a name, “English Learner” is later replaced by the actual name. The end result is that the question is still there, but it is no longer a question from someone named “English Learner”.


Amy, you are right about the “English Learner” name question.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A police officer[YSaerTTEW443543]

Thorsten and Amy, thanks for your responses. I am still learning about this site and may have more questions or comments later.
I can find all of my 129 individual postings but only 91 of the complete threads that show the posts of everyone who contributed.
Amy, it seems that posts are being deleted, as Thorsten has said.
Thorsten, do you have a way of knowing whether posters read responses to their questions? I am sure you know that some ESL sites indicate when a response has been read by the person asking the question.
Is it common for guests to be able to write posts on ESL sites?

I’m aware of that. There are sometimes things written in the English Teacher Explanations forum that are not questions at all. That’s also the forum that spammers regularly “attack” since there is no registration required to post there. I regularly delete spam out of that forum.

I have no idea how common it is, but I do know that many forums either don’t allow posting at all without registration or don’t allow visitors to respond to posts without registration. On some sites “guests” can only post in a few of the various forums, but not in all of the forums. In most cases, this seems to be first and foremost a reaction to the massive spamming that takes place online.

Well, now I think I understand what Canadian45 is talking about. I was just in the middle of answering a question when it suddenly disappeared.
In this case, the question itself might have appeared to be nonsensical. The question asked was “Is disappears right?” The word disappears was in fact given in the test as the correct answer. So, the question does seem ridiculous or completely redundant on the surface.

However, in my opinion it was a very valid question since I consider the test to be wrong! I assume the test taker had exactly the same thought.

ESL/EFL Test #22 “Weather Forecast”, answer 9

I also consider the solution given in question 10 of the same test to be wrong (or at best “borderline”). In my opinion, there is no justification for using the simple present tense in either question in this test.

In my opinion, both questions ought to be changed. Or are there hackers who are hacking into the tests and wreaking linguistic havoc?


By the way, isn’t it weird that the thread that disappeared asked a question about “disappears”? :shock: Eerie!

vivid example… as a bonus for the test with the test question


Hi Canadian45,

I agree with you, it would be great to be able to know whether or not a poster has read a response to their message. As of now, this is not possible with our system so we have to look into this. Thanks for brining up that point.
As for guest being able to write posts on (ESL) forums, Amy is right, on most forums guests are not allowed to post any messages because the bigger portion of your guests are spammers…[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A man in a hardhat[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Amy, what’s wrong with the sentence “But you’ll have to be quick because it (the sun) soon disappears.”?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: An airline cockpit[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten

The whole test is written as one single weather forecast. It begins with the weather at the moment, then continues on to the weather forecast for later in the day (using the “will future”). Then it continues on to the weather forecast for tomorrow:

  1. But things will improve tomorrow. (OK)

  2. In the early morning the sun will make an appearance. (OK)

  3. But you’ll have to be quick because it soon disappears. --> Appropriate change: But you’ll have to be quick because it will soon disappear.

  4. And of course after that our old friend rain returns. --> Appropriate change: And of course after that our old friend rain will return.

Although the simple present tense can sometimes be used to talk about the future, to me it is unjustifiable in sentence 9 and also hard to justify in sentence 10. The context was tomorrow’s weather and that had already begun with the ‘will future’ – which is appropriate for predictions. Using the simple present tense no longer sounds like a prediction of the weather for one day in the future (tomorrow), but rather a statement of general fact.



I think I’ll stick by my choice of Present Simple for 9 and 10 as it indicates the idea that sun disappears as it always does and the rain returns as it always does. It’s in a way like saying ‘Sorry, but that’s what happens and I can’t stop it because it’s like a fact of life’.

Let me give another example: Tomorrow the clocks will go back and alas, alas it rains first thing in the morning as no doubt you already expect it to.


Hi Alan

I’m aware of the possible justifications/usages, but I’m afraid my oppostition to the use of “disappears” is not going to disappear. 8)

You might be able to win me over on sentence 10, but 9 simply sounds completely wrong and unnatural to me in the context. :cry:


I agree that the present tense can be correctly used to talk about the future. Take a stage play where the director is telling the actors what (he wants them to do)(will happen).

“Twenty seconds after the curtain rises, Alan enters from stage left and walks to the center of the stage. He hears the noise above and looks at the sky. While Alan is scanning the sky, Amy appears on stage left, picks up a snowball and throws it at him. Before Alan can look towards Amy, she disappears.”

Having said that, weather forecasts, at least in North America, are given in the future tense. Also, it is odd that after the previous questions are in the future tense, the last two switch to present tense. One can say that the writing is not ‘balanced’. I would have stayed with the future tense.
I think that the only difference between #9 and #10 is that the change appears between 8 and 9.

*All names used here are fictional. Any resemblance to an actual person is strictly coincidental. :slight_smile:

I might as well weigh in here, as it is an interesting question. It’s not easy, and I really cannot take sides, since I am of two minds myself (or maybe, each mind could take a side).

What I think is that simple present sentences #9 and #10 do sound quite odd and out-of-place when written out in sequence as they are, but that within a weather reporter’s monologue, they would be natural options to the will- future. A lot depends on the context-- ‘of course’ suggests that the weather has been consistent and expected, and yay! for simple present; on the other hand, the first sentence (‘things will improve’) indicates a change in the weather, and yay! for will- (or going to-) future.

I haven’t seen the original test, but if the student is tested on those verb forms, woe is s/he.


For the record our testee doesn’t have to feel too woebegone because they have a choice of words rather than a choice of tenses.



One last effort:

Tomorrow it will rain, of that I can be sure, but never mind the sun comes out at the end of the day and so all is not lost, the birds sing and window cleaners get on with their work and everyone knows that all these things follow although the sentence starts with a future verb form. Believe me.


Hi, Teachers :slight_smile:

If I’m allowed to say my little learner’s word, I’d draw your attention to the fact that this is the test for Elementary level.
Can you imagine yourself at the level? I still easily can :slight_smile:

I’m aware that the American-style forecast is normally done with the Future tense, whereas some British forecasts also allow using the Present one(s)…
but, even more simply, to me, soon appeals to will, except for the cases of those special narratives that are done – entirely - in the Present tense.

Hi Alan

Yes, I know and use the simple present like that, too. It’s just that the test sentence doesn’t work for me at all in the context that’s given.

But, ultimately the reason this whole conversation got started was the fact that a test taker asked a question specifically about the word “disappears” and the question was deleted. I hope he or she has now found all the explanations for using “will disappear” vs. “disappears”. :smiley: