This tag is for questions related to the English language as used in the United States of America.

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8
votes
2answers
133 views
+50

How should terminal punctuation work when quoting a Hebrew snippet in English text?

In American English, full stops (periods) and commas are always typeset within quotation marks (that is, before the closing quotation mark). Does this rule still apply when the quoted matter is in a ...
2
votes
2answers
40 views

Pronunciation of word “considered”

I have learned in school that letter 'r' is not sounded in the word 'considered', here's an example. But I have been watching the 'How I met your mother' series, and Ted have pronounced that with ...
19
votes
14answers
4k views

A verb that means “to prove someone is guilty of a crime”

Preface: I don't think there is a single-word (verb) that expresses the concept I am asking for, in which case I'd settle for the least ambiguous and most common phrase or idiom that describes the ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Words play - does it have a special name in English? How to do the same with 'security' word for example?

By looking at this picture: Or at the title of this album: You can see that the authors used there something which I call a word game. My question is, does doing so has an official name? How can ...
-1
votes
1answer
25 views

Determiners in English sentence vs. plurals, singulars and zero determiners. Is it ok to say?

Do I need any determiners in the sentence below in general statement? Strong winds destroy homes. Is it ok to say in English in specific situation? The strong wind destroyed the homes in North ...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

“Enjoin” vs “Adjure”

"Enjoin" means to direct someone with emphasis and authority. "Adjure" means to command in a serious manner. Are the two words used in different contexts?
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Telling the time - Minute 01 to 09

What would be the most frequent/common way of telling the time when the minute is between 01 and 09? Is there any difference between BE and AmE? 5:03 -> 1) five oh three 2) five three 3) three ...
5
votes
6answers
4k views

Do Americans use the term “garburator” or is there a better equivalent?

Is it obsolete to use the term garburator to refer to a garbage disposal unit in a kitchen? If it is, do we have a better term to replace it with? Also, what is the etymology of this word?
0
votes
3answers
45 views

Interpreting contemporary literature [on hold]

There's something I just don't get of English usage in contemporary literature. Take the following excerpt: I have only to break into the tightness of a strawberry, and I see summer-its dust and ...
5
votes
4answers
7k views

“At the beginning of the century” or “in the beginning of the century”?

At the beginning of the century. In the beginning of the century. How to clearly distinguish when to use at, or in?
15
votes
1answer
8k views

Trapezium/trapezoid — why are the US/UK definitions swapped around?

These are the US definitions... Trapezoid — a 4-sided flat shape with straight sides that has a pair of opposite sides parallel. Trapezium — a 4-sided flat shape with straight sides and NO parallel ...
0
votes
3answers
95 views

The phrase “more sharp” vs “sharper”

So I was talking to my fiancee and she said "more sharp" to which I said "you mean sharper?". This is in context of talking about her current earrings being "more sharp" then her usual ones. She then ...
-3
votes
0answers
28 views

What is the simplest way to prepare the IELTS? [on hold]

What is the simplest way to prepare the IELTS and How I got the highest band in IELTS?
1
vote
4answers
455 views

“I usually knock off at 6”

"I usually knock off at 6", i heard an english gentleman say that. Does it sound odd only to me? In fact, what I heard was "I usually masturbate at 6" Did some research: found a book (i'm guessing ...
1
vote
2answers
36 views

Combining two sentences for title

I want to combine the following sentence: Relationship between son and mother, and relationship between daughter and mother Into one sentence for title of an article: Relationship between son, ...
-2
votes
0answers
33 views

How to find and learn English phrases [on hold]

Suggest me some ways or few book to learn advanced English phrases particularly for speaking Thank you.
0
votes
0answers
30 views

What does the expression “that about sums it up” mean in the context provided in the question? [closed]

This phrase is taken from the Lost series, in particular from Episode 3, in case that rings any bells for anyone. Basically, the question that I have is, what does this phrase mean: That's about ...
0
votes
2answers
98 views

To gain/acquire/obtain comfort with something abstract - is this idiomatic, or at least acceptable?

I am encountering the expression "to gain comfort", "to acquire comfort", and to "obtain comfort" more and more lately. Example: "This issue was looked at in depth in 2013 and we obtained comfort at ...
6
votes
1answer
115 views

Influence of Spanish and usage of Spanish words in US English

A recent report by Instituto Cervantes ["El Español una lengua viva, informe 2015"] lists the US as the 4th country in the world with the highest number of native Spanish speakers (41.343.921), ...
0
votes
5answers
53 views

What does it mean when the beginning of a sentence is 'To Think' (followed by a comma)?

For example, "My name rolled out of his tongue like it laced the abhorrence of a deplorable word. He might consider using to it summon the devil. To think, I hated my last name." I don't understand ...
0
votes
4answers
88 views

What is an alternative word for 'over-lit area'?

What is an alternative word to tell about 'over lit area'? I am using it in this example: The light from my lamp has over-lit my table.
1
vote
0answers
53 views

What is the antonym to 'elevation'?

How do I say an opposite of "elevation of an object over the plane" which would mean "the level of the displacement of an object under the plane"? That is, I am looking for a word in "??? of an object ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

What is the origin of the phrase “has some teeth to it”?

I know the phrase "has some teeth to it" refers to something that cuts and/or takes hold of something. It's used a lot in arguments / discussion of topics where serious / good counterpoints are used, ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

Which version of English influenced the other? British / American

I remember hearing that modern American English is more similar to Old English than modern British English, due to rural British influences. Is modern American English a more accurate representation ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Hyphenation of a word to a two-word phrase [closed]

How should one treat the hyphenation of a word to a two-word phrase, such as in the example below: something about the qubit-resonator mode frequency detuning. The sentence tries to express: ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

“Accessory” pronounced with a stress on the first syllable

I'm a first language English speaker, but grew up Bilingual in Spanish in a Spanish speaking country. Today I was speaking to another first language English speaker (Canadian) and used the word ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Exceptions to the rule that AAVE can omit “is” and “are” iff the corresponding form in standard English can be contracted?

According to Wikipedia: Only the forms is and are (of which the latter is anyway often replaced by is) can be omitted; am, was, and were are not deleted. These forms cannot be omitted when ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

American term for “sparkling water”?

Carbonated water doesn't seem to be as popular in the US as in Europe as far as I know (correct me if I am wrong) but I suppose some people in the US drink it. What is the most common American term ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

Where does “pizza pie” originate?

The Italianissimo pizza—pronounced /ˈpiʦ:a/—is not always spelled or called pizza around the world: In Bosnia, Belarusian, Macedonia, Serbia it's spelled pica but pronounced /pîtsa/ In ...
0
votes
0answers
4 views

what is the place of these 2 words “known” and “preserved” in the following sentence? [migrated]

what is the place of these 2 words "known" and "preserved" in the following sentence? The Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave in the Ardèche department of southern France is a cave that contains the earliest ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

What is the correct way to show tiered possession?

When there are multiple places where possession is shown, how are the words structured? A few examples: Greg's son's laptop is on fire. Mary's friends' boat is sinking. Thomas's neighbor's cat ate ...
2
votes
2answers
94 views

How to use the word “finna” correctly?

I've heard both "I'm finna go to the store" and "He finna go to the store." Do we prefer with "is, am, are", or without? Is it a regional / dialectic difference, or are they interchangeable?
12
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I distinguish “can” & “can't” from pronunciation?

It's very difficult for me to separate them. I was just listening to some video and it said "Fat cells can’t reproduce themselves." What I thought I've heard is "... CAN reproduce ..." Frankly, ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Is there any authoritative source from where we can find out if a phrase or figure of speech is American English or British English? [closed]

For example the figure of speech " One swallow doesn't make a summer" is British English. Similarly the figure of speech 'All hat and no cattle" is American English. Is there any source from where ...
-5
votes
0answers
32 views

In a company name, should you use “An” vs “A” [duplicate]

For example, if a company is being bought out by another company, it sounds right to use "A Comcast Company", but "A Xfinity Company" dosen't fit so well compared to "An Xfinity Company", same goes ...
2
votes
3answers
141 views

Is “have/has got” a perfect for BrE, but not AmE?

In BrE the past participle of get is in most cases got, while in AmE it is almost always gotten. Does that imply that in the context of BrE "have/has got" is a genuine perfect construction, whereas ...
10
votes
5answers
10k views

“Stick it in the boot.” “Er, don't you mean the trunk?”

Does anyone know the etymological history or the reason behind the different names that British and American speakers use to refer to the automobile's largest storage receptacle, or more plainly, the ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Phrases used to replace“ I think” [closed]

Can anybody suggest phrases or sentences I can use instead of "I think" when it comes to giving opinions Thank you.
4
votes
1answer
698 views

Does “asking” as a noun have much, say, historic use?

There's a commonplace form in AmE, "as per your asking"... (Note this question by a rightly confused non-native speaker.) It occurred to me that "asking" makes a beautiful noun. (Particularly if ...
11
votes
6answers
7k views

Difference between “garbage” and “trash”?

What's the difference between garbage and trash? Is the difference significant?
2
votes
3answers
3k views

What does “throw back” mean?

In this sentence: I've throw back a lot of orange juice. What does to “throw back (orange juice)” mean?
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Why do you “cut” a check?

It's not the end of the deal, right? It's not just you cut a check and you walk away. In this sentence, why does one say "cut" a check? How and when did this comes to be? Is it a popular idiom ...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

“She wasn't sleeping eight hours”?

Take a look at this article from the Huffington Post. In it, there is this paragraph right here: Eight hours. This number is spoken like gospel in this country when it comes to sleep. "How much ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Why is it a good idea to avoid 'like' in English?

In the video JULIA BOORSTIN -- Interview a Broadcaster! -- American English (0:34 to 1:20), a reporter from an American news television channel mentions that it's not a good idea to use the word ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

“Named for” vs. “named after”

As a Brit, I'm used to the phrase named after being used to say how something got its name. For example, in Wikipedia's List of eponymous roads in London, we read that Addison Road is named after the ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

What are lexemes and morphemes? [closed]

I am preparing for my TOEFL test and want to increase my vocabulary. Can anybody please tell me what lexemes and morphemes are, and why they are important? I have Googled the terms but I need the ...
5
votes
5answers
10k views

Which is correct: “I’m done” or “I have finished”?

Which of these alternatives is grammatically correct? I’m done. or I have finished Like I’m done sounds very American, but is it grammatically correct?
1
vote
4answers
201 views

Pronunciation Feedback Required

Did I pronounce the phrase "I'm gonna be gone for five weeks" correctly? https://clyp.it/oobrogbu Phonetically it looks like: [aɪm gɑnə bɪ gɔn fər faɪv wiks]. I have no idea which words should I ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

Pronunciation of: I want a refund

I noticed in a TV show that the phrase "I want a refund" is pronounced like [I wanna refund]. I think the /t/ is dropped and /n/ is blended into the vowel. But how do Americans differentiate between ...
0
votes
2answers
131 views

Why is it so hard to understand English over the phone?

I think I'm pretty good at English language and have made some progress over the years. I learnt by myself and that kind of made me feel proud of myself, however I had this trouble at an old job ...