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

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5
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2answers
919 views

Is it acceptable in American English to pronounce “grocery” as “groshery”?

I caught myself pronouncing the "c" in "grocery" as an "sh" sound. Is this commonplace/accepted, or is it perhaps geographic? Does this occur with "c" in other words? As background, I was raised in ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Which one is better (or correct) expression? “go up 5 percent'” or “go up by 5 percent” [duplicate]

I ran into some curiosity on some expression just like, A) It took me a day to go up 5 percent. B) It took me a day to go up by 5 percent. I think the B is right, but someone is sometimes using the ...
2
votes
3answers
90 views

What is an alternative way to say “Note that” in academic writing? [closed]

In my academic writing, when I want to connect the context and emphasize something, I almost always use a sentence structure like this: Note that... An example in an academic paper is given ...
1
vote
0answers
81 views

'Spelled' vs 'Spelt' [duplicate]

May I just say, I was born and raised in the United States and I use the term "spelt" but others say it should be "spelled" but... why is spelt apparently a grammatical error?
0
votes
1answer
54 views

What is the double opposite of Schadenfreude? [duplicate]

If schadenfreude means "pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune", is there a word to call someone who can't feel happy when something good/exciting happens to a ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Word Stress in “It's up to you”

I watched a video on Youtube about the pronunciation of the phrase "It's up to you": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaZrkhCqWbk and it says that "up" is the stressed word. I think that "It's" can ...
1
vote
2answers
43 views

Word for reluctance or caution as a result of having already failed?

I'm seeking a word or phrase that conveys a person's heightened caution or risk aversion regarding a task that stems from prior failure. Something like "gun shy," but perhaps more specific?
1
vote
1answer
59 views

“In the cards”, “on the cards” origin(s)

In another question in EL&U "Positives changes on the cards" — meaning? , it came up that at least one of us AmE speakers had always heard this idiom as "in the cards" and never as "on ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Has the English language changed since 1854? [closed]

I've started reading a book named Walden, published in 1854. I am not a native English speaker, I am Persian, and I want to read this book for two reasons: to improve my English and because I think ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

what is the difference between “XYZ-based company” and “XYZ company”

Question(s) In the following paragraph, if i change Abbott Park, Illinois-based company to Abbott Park, Illinois company will the meaning change? Is there a technical term for -based ? When do we ...
-2
votes
2answers
157 views

Formal way to say “doesn't work”? [closed]

I am writing a paper and I feel as if I need a more formal way of writing "doesn't work". Any thoughts? Thanks :)
1
vote
1answer
78 views

The elision of alveolar plosives

when the phrase "Can't complain" is pronounced [ˈkænt kəmˈpleɪn] I think that the T is dropped in fast speech because of the alveolar plosives. Right? I read that when T comes before these letters: / ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

TR sound and Word Stress

I read in American accent book that when a "t" is followed by an "r" sound, the "t" changes and becomes an almost "ch" sound. "To create this sound correctly, say "ch" as in chain, but just make the ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Pronunciation of What do you want to do?

When I pronounce the question: "What do you want to do?", I hear some stress on the first syllable of "whaddya" and "wanna" and a bit stronger stress on "do". This is how I pronounce it: ...
1
vote
2answers
43 views

What to write when asked family name? [closed]

If my name is Alfonso (first name) Barrera Ramirez (last name) what would I write when they ask for family name?
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Word Stress in “I have a + noun”

I know that any word can be stressed in a sentence to give it emphasis, but in the following sentences I'm interested in a default unemphatic accent. When I pronounce these phrases: A: I have a ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Word stress: Sorry to keep you waiting

When I heard the phrase: "Sorry to keep you waiting" [sɔri tə kip jʊ weɪdɪŋ] in an American movie it sounded to me that: Sorry, keep, and waiting are the stressed words. I may be wrong because I'm not ...
3
votes
5answers
177 views

Is “He should be consequenced” an error?

I've been watching The Sopranos recently; a very useful vehicle for picking up American pronunciation and mob slang. In series one, episode seven, Tony Soprano and his wife Carmela are in the school ...
0
votes
2answers
109 views

Word Stress Within a Sentence: Adjectives

I read this in American accent book: "Place full stress on an adjective if it's not followed by a noun. If it is followed by a noun, stress the noun more." For example I have this phrase: Have a ...
3
votes
8answers
712 views

What to call Primary School + High School, but not College

I was creating a web form for a client who requested the highest-grade completed for primary and high school and then college. The original paper form had the following Circle highest grade ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

Whom or Who in this sentence: These men, all of WHOM or WHO were well-known, well-respected statesmen, were viewed by their peers [duplicate]

Here's the full sentence: "These men, all of who were well-known, well-respected statesmen, were viewed by their peers and common people alike as great thinkers in their day. I just can't really see ...
2
votes
2answers
207 views

Is “offloading a passenger” idiomatic?

Merriam-Webster and Oxford seem to suggest that we can offload things, not people, yet "offloading a passenger" is quite prevalent in Philippine English. Is it a phrase that somebody from the inner ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Is there a contraction known as the're?

Recently, one of my relatives started studying the English Language and she came to discuss that the contraction of there are can also be written as the're because that's they way she learnt it at ...
2
votes
3answers
77 views

A person who is super excited for something [closed]

What do we call a person who is super excited for something?
1
vote
2answers
271 views

Word stress in the phrase: I just got here [closed]

I give some context for my question: Question: Have you been waiting long? Answer: I just got here. [aɪ dʒʌst ɡɑt hɪər] When I pronounce the phrase "I just got here" I hear some stress on the word ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Slang word for transferring money from one card to another

Ok, so there is an Online Money Transfer Service. It allows for quick money transfer from one card to another. The advertisement of this service describes how it is convenient for parents to transfer ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

How to pronunce th+s like in paths or months? [duplicate]

I always feel it's kind of hard to pronunce them both, can either of them be dropped or reduced?
0
votes
2answers
44 views

reduce the preposition “at” or not?

I heard the question: "Are you mad at me?" in a youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7GfP7kX9gY pronounced in two different ways: 'ɑr yu 'mæd æt mi? and 'ɑr yu 'mæd ət mi? Sometimes the ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

Vocabulary advice for non native English speaker [closed]

I am not native speaker & aiming to work as Software Engineer by the end of this year. To work as engineer in addition to other skills one needs communication skills. I do have problem with this ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Set the table, or lay the table?

I have read that set is American and that lay is British. But I do not think it is nearly as simple as that. I grew up in rural England in the late 1940s/50s, and we always set the table. In fact ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Has or Have with name? [duplicate]

Which is correct? 1) Has their board voted yet? 2) Have their board voted yet? Or does it depend whether we are using American English (Has their board . . .) or British English (Have their board . ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

Are both “How did you” and “Howdja” used?

How did you get here? [ 'haʊ dɪdʒʊ 'gɛt hɪər? ] I took the bus. How did you get here? [ 'haʊdʒə 'gɛt hɪər? ] I took the train. My question: are both "haʊ dɪdʒʊ" and "haʊdʒə" used in American ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

Grammatically correct answer to incorrect question [closed]

I'm just curious what is correct to say in this situation. Let's have a person A which can speak English but not very well (like me). Person A is going to ask me whether I work in company X. But he ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Stress in the question: How about you?

If I transcribe this question "How about you?" to IPA it looks like: [ haʊ əˈbaʊt yu]. The dictionary shows the word "about" with primary stress on its second syllable but I think in my question it ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Where does the term “key-thong” (for flip-flops) come from?

In the east Bay Area of California, in the early '60's, we called flip flops key-thongs. (The spelling is likely wrong as I couldn't read at the time.) We moved to New Mexico in the late 60's, where ...
8
votes
1answer
493 views

What's the meaning of “I'm slinging mad volume and fat stacking benjies”?

Recently I was watching the television show Breaking Bad. There's a sentence of dialogue from season 2, episode 6 that confused me: Jesse Pinkman: You got something for me? Skinny Pete: Yeah, ...
0
votes
2answers
46 views

Does vacillation imply intention or a mind? Can non-intelligent things vacillate?

A friend and I are arguing about this. Does vacillation imply a mind? Can a non-intelligent thing vacillate? In the context of video games my friend mentioned that his ping was vacillating. I argued ...
0
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0answers
30 views

is this correct; using lighted rather than lit? [duplicate]

Please help me clarify if this usage of the word "lighted" is correct in the following statement. "I have lighted the candle"
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Is it redundant to say “the plot of the story”?

I'm writing a paper about title cards and title sequences in movies and at one point I say These title cards were also used throughout silent films as they were essential to carrying the plot of ...
0
votes
2answers
91 views

Is there a difference between a spigot and a faucet (usage in AmE) [duplicate]

What is a domestic tap called commonly in the US ? -a spigot? a device that controls the flow of liquid from a large container (MW) Dictionary meaning aside, I had this understanding that a ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

English expression for “Dans la continuité de” in french [closed]

I would like to know how to say this french sentence "Ce projet ce situe dans la continuité d'un travail réalisé auparavant" in english. Is "This project follows on a work realized before" correct ? ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

'come rain, blood, or horse manure' American idiom?

Probably some of you, as I am, are familiar with the controversy that surrounded ABC miniseries Amerika (February 1987). ABC president response to that controversy was "we’re going to run that ...
5
votes
5answers
170 views

“ain’t got the brains God gave a squirrel” - a (few) simpler alternative(s)

ain’t got the brains God gave a squirrel or ain’t got the sense God gave geese. I have taken a liking to this phrase, however, to my colleagues, most of who are from Latin America and SE-Asia, ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

Do words with primary and secondary stress lose the secondary stress in a sentence?

I read in a textbook that certain words in English lose the secondary stress when they appear in a sentence. For example, this female name has both primary and secondary stress according to the ...
3
votes
2answers
84 views

In which countries would “tags” be understood to mean “License plates and stickers that show the registration is currently valid”?

On our sister site a user recently used the term "tags" in relation to taxis in China. I thought it might man some kind of official authorization to operate a taxi. But upon clarification I was told ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

what does the Flip Or Flop mean?

I just moved to the US and like a tv program on HGTV channel called Flip or Flop. I have no idea what this phrase means? Could somebody offer an explanation?
8
votes
5answers
962 views

How common is the term “boondoggle”? And what are its origins?

Even for a country well accustomed to foreign policy boondoggles, it was an impressive body count. Eighty Americans, eight Brits, eight Germans — no French because they'd been boycotting ...
3
votes
3answers
797 views

Word Stress in the sentence “I put it on the table”

the sentence: "I put it on the table" phonetically looks like: [ aɪ pʊ_dɪ_dɑn ðə 'teɪ bəl ] and "I put it on the chair" phonetically looks like: [ aɪ pʊ_dɪ_dɑn ðə 'tʃɛər ] I think the strongest ...
1
vote
3answers
113 views

What to say if you don't want anything from a store?

I learned English as a second language. As I have never lived in any English speaking country, sometimes I don't know what to say in common daily situations. One good example of this occurred when I ...
-1
votes
1answer
65 views

“in God's name” usage in English [closed]

When people say "what in God's name are you doing?", I couldn't understand.