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

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0
votes
2answers
59 views

Wrong use of words?

My friends who lives in China just sent me this snapshot of a test which she used to practice her English language skill-set. I took a look at it, and something bothers me. I might be completely wrong ...
0
votes
0answers
55 views

Is the word,“Whilst”, not used in US English?

In my spare time i sometimes help out a good friend of mine. He is a professional translator, self-employed so he can pretty much pick his own assignments, which is a good position to be in, but i ...
1
vote
4answers
79 views

What is the point of using Parentheses around only part of a word

I sometimes see parentheses around only part of a word. What does this mean? An example...Someone typed the phrase "mission (im)possible. I am unsure what the significance is of putting parentheses ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

How do I say “my car is broken” idiomatically? [closed]

Hmm: the version I give has never sounded quite right to me, but as a non-native English speaker, I don't know how native American or English people say this. So I'd be really glad if you could ...
3
votes
2answers
116 views

Pronunciation Deleting /t/ Between Consonants [duplicate]

When I pronounce the phrase: "Look, it's the first day. I don't wanna be late." I think that the /t/ in the words "first" and "don't" can be deleted. Am I right? I'm talking about casual speech. ...
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.
0
votes
1answer
17 views

Should I say “at both single- and multiple-object levels”

In my current writing task, there are two different conceptual levels: one single object level and one multiple objects level. When I call them together, should I say: "At both single- and ...
0
votes
2answers
107 views

pronouncing t's as d's [duplicate]

Why do some people pronounce "cotton" as codden and "satin" as saddin and Russian leader "Putin" as pudin? These pronunciations are made even by professional news people on national television.
0
votes
2answers
94 views

I am on the day 19th of [doing X] [closed]

can I say that I am on the day 19th of fasting from rudeness, backingbiting, cursing, food and drinking during the daylight. I will include you in my prayer
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Why doesn't it go like “him and his wife”?

Please take a look at this excerpt from The Catcher in the Rye: I think I probably woke he and his wife up, because it took them a helluva long time to answer the phone. This phrase confused me. ...
-1
votes
3answers
100 views

What does this mean: “Why would that be the case?” [closed]

What does a person mean when they ask this question: "Why would that be the case?"
0
votes
1answer
54 views

What is it called when some pronounces their “s” sounds sharply

I've long noticed that when it comes to pronouncing words containing an "s" sound, their are those that pronounce it softly and those that pronounce it sharply. I have always wanted to put a name to ...
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 ...
-3
votes
2answers
59 views

“Name1 Name2 are also want to join?” [closed]

"name1 name2 are also want to join?" Is totally incorrect, however, I am unable to explain it, so as why is it incorrect. Could you please help me explain it?
1
vote
0answers
36 views

Usage of loss or losses (for undesirable heat produced)

I am working in the field of electrical engineering where losses may appear due to for example and in short, pulsating magnetic fields in magnetic materials (Core losses) or electric current (Copper ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

Polite, non-profane equivalent to ‘kick a**’

So, you have a web site to which you've posted a review stating "How to Kick Ass". This gets censored, which I can understand. What's a very colloquial, not necessarily modern slang, easily ...
-1
votes
1answer
62 views

Checkboxes vs. Checkboces [closed]

I know that you can say both e.g. indexes and indices, but does it apply to all the words with similar ending? I'm interested about checkboxes vs checkboces in particular.
6
votes
6answers
744 views

non-condecending term that has the meaning that is usually associated to 'first world'

I've always thought of the 'first world' as countries with modern technology and science, proper education, viable economies, and freedom from other social issues which allows individuals to enjoy a ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

The difference really cannot

Is there any different in meaning between I cannot really and I really cannot?
2
votes
3answers
46 views

What is the short for “focusing on the key component of the problem?”

I am writing a research essay which contains something like "a policy that focuses on the key component of the problem." I am struggling to come up with a short name for this policy because I need to ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

Repeated usage of “can” [closed]

A shop can be up- or downgraded or the user credentials * be changed with the help of [...] I have two questions in this sentence: The construction "up- or downgrade" (omit the grade from the ...
1
vote
2answers
50 views

Why is 'sort of' pronounced /sɔːrdəv/ in AmE though /t/ is not between vowels?

Sort /sɔːrt/ of /əv/ Why is "sort of" pronounced /sɔːrdəv/ in American English even though /t/ is not between the two vowels /r/ & /ə/?
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Which is correct: “Real Madrid compete very well,” or “Real Madrid competes very well?” [duplicate]

I think there's a difference in the ways in which sports announcers from the U.S. and U.K. refer to the teams. If my memory serves me correctly, I think announcers in FIFA from the U.K. will use forms ...
1
vote
5answers
70 views

Antonym for “unify” that sounds equally as eloquent?

Is there an antonym for the word unify that sounds just as "eloquent" as the word itself? I feel like separate isn't really that great of a word.
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

“Why has this watch stopped?” Thought Ahmed,

"Why has this watch stopped? " Thought Ahmed, How to change this sentence into Narration? I tried to make its Indirect speech, but I could not change it.
-1
votes
1answer
191 views

Choose the option that best corrects the comparison error in the following part of the sentence - (accomplished and intelligent like Merlin)

Although Merlin was renowned for his superb wizardry and general sagacity, Mingo, his unheralded apprentice, was every bit accomplished and intelligent like Merlin. a. accomplished and intelligent as ...
4
votes
2answers
93 views

Is 'yeah-nah' a uniquely Australian idiom?

There is a response in Australian English that means "Yes I hear you and empathise with your situation, but no this course of action won't work for me." [Yeah-Nah] I assumed this was a normal part of ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Is the usage “… is/are hurting” from a victim's perspective grammatically correct?

I recall listening to a statement by Obama one or two years ago (also after a shooting incident, most likely) where he remarked something like "... our people are hurting". Since he was referring to ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

Is 'surface street' specific to southern California?

In Los Angeles, California, the US, the phrase surface street is in common use. It refers to an ordinary city street, as opposed to a controlled-access freeway. Presumably the word surface comes ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

English Pronunciation Easter Eggs [closed]

I have been wondering recently if there are any Pronunciation "Easter Eggs" in the English language (not unlike how "Ghoti" is pronounced like "Fish"). Are there any others? Please provide phonetic ...
2
votes
2answers
708 views

Is this proper English: “I am student”? [closed]

So, I have a debate with my associate. We are debating whether one can say something like "I am student." It was argued that this was proper and that indeed you can use a verb followed by a noun ...
0
votes
3answers
99 views

Which is more appropriate: “I gonna” or “I am gonna”? [closed]

I want to ask about verb "to be" in gonna, specifically about which form is more accurate. I am gonna or I gonna and They gonna or They are gonna
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Which of the following sentences is correct? (“Due to address” vs. “Due to addressing”)

Due to address the convention in July, Brown planned to address the issue of low-income housing in his speech. Due to addressing the convention in July, Brown planned to address the issue of ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

What do you call a building, or rooms within it, where doctors see their patients?

My understanding is as follows. Is this universally agreed? The OED sense 2a of surgery explains its use to describe the room where a doctor sees his patients. The OED gives no indication that this ...
2
votes
5answers
282 views

Is “key” as an adjective, meaning “crucial”, standard in American English?

As an adjective, key can mean "Of crucial importance" (Oxford). For example: the key facts are the most important facts, or a key worker is an employee whose role is especially vital. In British ...
0
votes
4answers
327 views

Is there any specific word for showing dislike facial expression?

Sometimes women twist their faces to express their dislikeness. Is there any specific word for showing such facial expression?
3
votes
8answers
1k views

What do you call someone who doesn't back down? [closed]

I'm looking for a word that describes a character in an essay I'm writing. I need a word for someone who doesn't back down, something like "brave" but not quite, more like "courageous". This person is ...
2
votes
1answer
268 views

Pronunciation of 'finance' and 'financial' in the media

This is just something I've noticed over the last few years in the English (UK) media and I wondered if there is some explanation for it. It used to be that 'financial' and 'finance' were pronounced ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

Hi everyone. I need your help. I wrote this essay and I think it's full of mistakes. Anyone can you correct me? Would be appreciated [closed]

What a beautiful morning! Waking up next to a little angel made me realize how beautiful it is be a mother. A couple who I have not known for very long asked me to watch their 6-month-year old baby ...
1
vote
2answers
85 views

'Yet' in affirmative statements in American English (except in 'is yet to' and 'have yet to')

I know for a fact now that 'yet' is heard used in American English in affirmative statements like the following. 1 and 2 (and perhaps 3) are okay but 4. I just can't seem to see the rules with this. ...
12
votes
23answers
5k views

A single word that means “mental reaction speed”?

I'm searching for a single-word descriptor that means "mental quickness", "mental reaction speed" or very similar with little additional connotation (unlike alacrity or wits). EDIT: The word has to ...
12
votes
7answers
3k views

Is the term “you suck” always considered slang? [closed]

I'm having a serious argument with a friend on the status of the word "suck" when I used it about him by saying "You suck!" because he missed a train. We are both non-native English speakers. He ...
0
votes
3answers
80 views

What phrase can describe the final moments before a deadline?

I got a call from a friend while 10 minutes were left of my birthday. I want to put it like that The phone call from him ___________ was the icing on the cake. How to express that only 10 ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

Do English speaking subcultures attach different meanings to the phrase “I'm sorry”? [duplicate]

On a recent trip the US, someone explained to me that saying "sorry" meant taking responsibility for causing the loss. Thus you should only say sorry if you intended to fix the situation. (And ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What does “wildin'” mean?

In Rihanna's song "FourFiveSeconds", this line is sung in the chorus: 'Now I'm four, five seconds from wildin'...' I searched on Google for the definition of "wildin'" and got this: wildin' ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

What does “but […], though” mean? [closed]

I asked my American friends about the meaning of this word, but none of them could answer definitely. Some of them said that you can say though if you're not sure about something. Some of them said ...
9
votes
3answers
382 views

How do I identify a British idiom from an American one?

I live outside the US and the UK. I just started reading a book titled "Speak English like an American". The book teaches numerous idioms but I don't know if these idioms are usable outside the the ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Which is the correct pronoun? [duplicate]

Someone has left____ wet towels on the bathroom floor. his or her or their