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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
1answer
260 views

Why don't Americans refer to Indians (and others from the subcontinent) as Asians?

I know there is a related question here, but I am not seeing an answer to "Why is there a difference?" Merely that an explanation of what is used in each country. I am a speaker of American English, ...
5
votes
5answers
10k views

“Last Name” and “surname”

Between last name and surname, which one is British and which one is American? If I talk with somebody from Great Britain, which one is preferable?
13
votes
7answers
577 views

Which is longer: snooze, nap, kip, 40 winks or siesta?

How long is a snooze? My boyfriend will invariable take an afternoon snooze which might last anything up to two hours. A nap on the other hand, can be short, quick or even long, and sometimes they are ...
15
votes
5answers
9k views

“right” vs “correct”

Except when we use right to denote direction, what is the difference between these two terms? Also, which one is the preferred construction between these two Am I right? or Am I correct?
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Need audio short stories wrote in all tenses [closed]

First I apologize for my weakness language Second Sorry if this topic I put it in wrong place I read in effortlessenglish course for Aj Hoge that the best way to learn Grammer not to study it but ...
3
votes
3answers
192 views

Give it me! Write me! [duplicate]

Our young grandson, who is a Mancunian, says 'give it me', and 'give it me back', which is a northern British standard. It made me think that it is not only northerners who omit the indirect object ...
9
votes
6answers
451 views

Why is the English devil “old”?

Looking up the etymology of the Devil's nickname, Old Nick, I came across this article in OUPblog written by Anatoly Liberman For some reason, devils, at least in English, are often called old: ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

“Without first having…” vs. “Without having to first…” [closed]

Which one of the following is better? Without first having... Without having to first... Is there a difference?
0
votes
2answers
50 views

How to differate between different event types

I am trying to translate a part of a web application and I am unsure which describes the situation precisely. The context is theatre. event: for a public audience a performance of a theatre ...
2
votes
0answers
46 views

“I forgot” or “I forget” [duplicate]

I am from Philadelphia and I grew up saying, I forget when trying to recall something unsuccessfully. When I came in contact with people from other states, mostly in the mid-Atlantic region, I heard ...
6
votes
10answers
32k views

Is there a rule in British English about how to pronounce “either”?

There are two common pronunciations of "either": British /ˈaɪðər/ and American /ˈiːðər/. If Americans are more or less consistent in this regard, then the Brits seem to be freely using both. In fact, ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is American English so wedded to the subjunctive?

In the sentence 'She suggested that they go to the cinema' there is no way of telling from the sentence in isolation whether it means that the speaker gave advice on attending a moving picture show, ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Do Americans also typically use the word “aesthetic” spelled that way?

As far as I know, the word "aesthetic" can be considered the "British" or "European" way of spelling the word, like "caesium" or "haemophilia". The spelling "esthetic" (which replaces the ae with e as ...
2
votes
3answers
175 views

Does “native Japanese” indicate Japanese people or indigenous people in Japan?

I want to simply indicate that I was born and raised in Japan. I think I can say "I am a native Japanese", but when I google the expression, the results include information about indigenous people in ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Example of too few commas(,) in an introductory phrase?

This sentence popped up as correct on a website: "Even though I enjoyed myself at the expensive dinner and most of my friends were in town to see me, I left." I'm no grammarian, so I turn to you all ...
4
votes
4answers
214 views

Yards, courtyards, and gardens in American English

As long as reportedly Americans commonly designate an area of land, usually planted with plants, trees, flowerbeds, etc., adjoining a house as a yard (front yard/backyard); and a plot of land used for ...
0
votes
5answers
187 views

what is formal way to ask “may we know why this happened and how it happened?”

what is formal way to ask "may we know why this happened and how it happened?" is this phrase correct .What is the formal and better way of asking this
0
votes
4answers
155 views

Derogative vs Offensive

Is a derogative comment an offensive comment? To what extent are these two words synonyms?
1
vote
4answers
69 views

How do I pluralize the coffee drink “shot in the dark”?

For those that do not know, there is a coffee drink that it sometimes called a shot in the dark. It consists of an espresso shot poured in a regular cup of Joe. Suppose that I would like to order two ...
0
votes
1answer
691 views

“Have you ever been” to France? vs. “Have you ever gone” to France? vs. “Did you ever go” to France?

Which of the grammatical constructions above is (or are) more typical of what is commonly said and heard in colloquial AE? If all three options work, is there any difference to them meaningwise? ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

Cowboys, cowpokes, cowpunchers, wranglers, vaqueros, and buckaroos

Depending on where you are regionally located in the US, can these terms be used just about interchangeably in the sense "a hired hand (a cowhand) who tends cattle and performs many of his duties on ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

“Go ahead” vs. “Carry on” in AE usage

Back when I was a student, I can recall my nonnative English teachers -- after discussing a certain word, or phrase, or passage from a text with the class -- saying for me or some other guy to please ...
1
vote
5answers
126 views

Word for “growing in intelligence”

I'm looking for a word whose definition is something along the lines of "growing in intelligence". I'm trying to use it in a sentence like "the people are getting smarter and smarter throughout the ...
3
votes
4answers
166 views

Do Americans leave the ordinal suffix out of dates?

Do Americans leave the ordinal suffix out of dates? By 'ordinal suffix' I mean '-th', '-nd', '-rd', e.g. 'April 17' instead of 'April 17th'. If they do, is there an explanation for this behavior?
2
votes
4answers
81 views

What is this type of question called?

"I can have a cookie, can't I?" (Please ignore the double quotes while reading) What is this type of question called? Also, is it grammatically correct under American English?
4
votes
1answer
55 views

Kvetch - Meaning

I was just reading a book (The Help) and came across a usage of "kvetch" that didn't quite fit with how I thought it was used. A publisher is talking about a person's writing style and comments that ...
-4
votes
4answers
80 views

What is synonym of Abide? [closed]

What is synonym of Abide? a) Pays b) Diverts c) Hang Real sentence is "Curse abides on a tyrant for ever!"
-1
votes
1answer
57 views

what is the meaning of,Are you done? [duplicate]

If someone is about to finish his or her lunch, and we want to know, can we ask him or her: Are you done?
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Those who were or those who are? [closed]

I'm confused whether to use were or are on this... I detest liars, especially those who were/are making it up as a go-to-excuse. Thanks
11
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is “t” sometimes pronounced like “d” in American English?

Why, in American English, is the word Italy is pronounced /ˈɪdəli/ and not /ˈɪtəli/? What is the rule that is followed in the pronunciation of Italy to make the letter t pronounced like a d? Why is ...
-5
votes
4answers
324 views

“You really take the biscuit!”

Is there an American version of "You really take the biscuit!"? As in taking the last biscuit, i.e. it's incredible how selfish you are.
-2
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I say “It will be my pleasure to help you” in an email reply? [closed]

If someone asked for my help via email, can I say: It will be my pleasure to help you.
1
vote
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between initialize and initiate?

What is the difference between initialize and initiate words? Where should we use and can somebody explain it with some examples.
4
votes
4answers
39k views

Does the phrase “who's in?” or “I'm in!” exist in (informal) English?

I really think I've heard it in some American sitcom/sitcoms, meaning something like participating in. "I want to play football. Who's in?" — "Great idea, I'm in!" Does it really exist, or am I wrong? ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

“Traveller” vs. “traveler” [duplicate]

There was a time when traveller's cheques were emitted and sold by the banks in England and by Thomas Cook. However the cheques emitted by American banks/American Express were named traveler's cheque, ...
2
votes
4answers
331 views

Is there an alternative word/phrase to “ignorance is bliss?” [edited]

It's a classic phrase, but is there a word that encapsulates the sentiment of this idiom? Edit: Single word isn't a requirement, I'm just looking for a concise and eloquent alternative. I don't ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

Had you had asked

Let's say in this scenario: Someone asked me for help to do certain thing. I gave a negative response. That person then asked for the reason. I responded with: "Had you had asked me nicely ...." ...
2
votes
3answers
49 views

What is the core meaning of the verb “set” in Modern English?

What is the core meaning of the verb "set" in Modern English? I wrote "to put (something or someone) in a particular place" in my assignment, but the teacher said it was wrong.
7
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the history and geographic area of the word “finna?”

In St. Louis, I learned of the word, "finna." I know it is slang/contraction for "fixing to." By asking dozens of people, I've learned that it is used by people of many different races and cultural ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

“inquisitive” vs. “inquiring” in AmE and BrE

Do these terms share the same level of laudatoriness/pejorativeness in both BrE and AmE? Or, does one typically have a more positive/negative connotation to it than the other from your side of the ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

What's the better way to reply to the email [closed]

Is this the official email to log on to the website.? how should I reply to this what text can I add to YES which would be appropriate Thanks
1
vote
1answer
47 views

What does “Chinese theater” mean?

In a 1904 review of a piece by Maurice Ravel, one critic used the phrase Chinese theater Two years later, a critic in the New York Tribune wrote, "In his String Quartet M. Ravel is content with ...
3
votes
2answers
120 views

Brackets Vs Parenthesis

I came across this question on Meta Stackoverflow, where a discussion was going on in the comments about the terms brackets and parenthesis and the right usage of them. It seems there is a different ...
21
votes
9answers
3k views

Is the phrase “I just sucked it out of my thumb” used in American English?

I was born and raised in South Africa. We frequently used the term "to suck out of one's thumb", implying that an answer was just a wild guess or the notion had no evidence but was rather just ...
6
votes
2answers
204 views

“shyer” or “shier”

My Longman dictionary states that the comparative of 'shy' is 'shyer'. However, at least two online dictionaries also give the form 'shier' as being acceptable: The Free Dictionary and ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Using quotation marks to describe technical terms

Consider: DNS has a similar feature, but instead of “Work,” “Home,” and “Fax,” it has special record types that indicate which IP address you want from the server. I'm British, but am ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

ON an American street, but IN a British one. Do the twain ever meet?

In the United States, we say that someone lives on a street, whereas I've noticed that British people say in. For instance: Bubba lives on Washington Street. Colin lives in Cavendish Avenue. I ...
6
votes
5answers
6k views

What is a West Coast (U.S.) accent?

I've seen references to the American Midwest as being the home of the least accented form of American English. I always think of the Northern Midwest as having an accent that I associate with ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

the first case … is the court's decision

As I have said many times, I'm translating some wordy document, and here is another sentence that need shedding some light on: Thus the first case cited by the Court in Schwinn for the proposition ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Footwear: Runners. Sneakers. Trainers

There's a type of shoe which I, being Irish, would call runners. They're comfortable for running or walking in. The British call them trainers, probably because they can be used for sports or ...