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

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1
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1answer
134 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 ...
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. ...
2
votes
1answer
294 views

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word read?

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word usually read out loud? For example, with "Anglo-Saxon", do we say: "It is spelt as ...
-2
votes
4answers
544 views

If Americans go to the toilet in the bathroom, where do they take a bath?

As far as I am aware, in the US it is very common to refer to the room that contains the toilet (device for disposing of human waste) as the bathroom. If this is a separate room from the room that ...
0
votes
1answer
299 views

Is there any difference between 'plaid' and 'tartan'?

It seems to me that some Americans will say plaid where we will use tartan. Whilst tartan refers to woollen cloth woven in one of several patterns of coloured checks and intersecting lines; plaid ...
2
votes
6answers
4k views

Is “I'll be John Brown” a common phrase?

The phrase: I'll be John Brown! is an occasionally-used term in North Carolina. Mostly thought to replace taking the Lord's name in vain (GD). Is it used elsewhere? How long has it been ...
0
votes
1answer
255 views

Simple past or present perfect when describing a series of recent actions

I, as an American, would opt for the simple past rather than the present perfect in the following sentence: Today she has gone to a class, and after that she has been shopping. Is this sentence ...
0
votes
2answers
169 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
2answers
117 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. ...
1
vote
2answers
141 views

Should I always use the -ised ending for UK english and the -ized for US? [duplicate]

Realized vs realised, randomized vs randomised etc. Is it true that the former is always correct in US and the latter in UK english? Is there a list of english-speaking nations that use the former or ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Preventative vs. preventive

In this answer about the non-word disabilitated, the word preventative is compared (unfavourably, if my reading of the implication is correct) to preventive. However, I have always used preventative, ...
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 ...
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
98 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
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
4answers
1k views

Use “underway” or “under way” as an adverb?

Is it proper to use underway as an adverb? Or should under way be used? Merriam-Webster defines underway as an adjective and under way as an adverb. The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

“nt” pronounced as “n” in American English (as in “Internet”): what is it called?

I know that pronouncing "t" as "d" is called a flap t, but is there a name for pronouncing "nt" as "n" in some words, as is common in American English? Examples: "Internet" is pronounced as "inner ...
34
votes
14answers
13k views

Friendly way of saying “I love you”

In Spanish, Te amo (I love you) has more romantic feeling than saying Te quiero. The last one is used as a friendly way of saying I love you, but without romantic purposes. However, if translated to ...
-1
votes
3answers
111 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
55 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 ...
-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?
0
votes
4answers
3k views

“Acted in the benefit of ” vs. “acted for the benefit of ” vs. “acted to the benefit of ”

I am not sure about this quote: As to whether the president acted for the benefit of the majority, 35 percent of the respondents said that he did not, 30 percent that he only partly acted in the ...
3
votes
4answers
27k views

Difference between “get” and “take”

What is the difference between "get" and "take"? Both are used to describe receiving something. By intuition I mostly guess which one to use, but would like to know some rule which will stick in my ...
-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.
1
vote
0answers
38 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
750 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 ...
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

The difference really cannot

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

“Trace” as a synonym for “trail” in AE

As far as AE is concerned, does "trace" mean just about the same as "trail" in "break/blaze a trace", and -- if indeed it does -- can "trace" be used pretty much interchangeably in every which literal ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Cultural connotation of American English — some examples?

I am from India and we speak English there as well, albeit not as culturally refined as I see in the US. In India, and perhaps in the UK, English is spoken in a straight and 'as it is' manner. For ...
1
vote
0answers
58 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do Americans call hair that turns white “gray hair” not “white hair?” [closed]

I searched on YouTube for the reason why hair turns white then I found that Americans called it gray hair not white hair. In my opinion, its color is white so I don't understand why they call it gray ...
1
vote
2answers
51 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
56 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
7k views

How do they express the time, in American and British English?

I don't know if this is a good question. But as far as I know, and as I do it, American English also say "after" other than "past" in expressing times. For example, a quarter after six instead of, a ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Do brides in church weddings go up the aisle toward the altar or down the aisle toward the altar?

Nigel Rees, The Cassell Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins (1987) has this entry regarding the question "WHY DO WE SAY ... BRIDES GO UP THE AISLE?" Sir Thomas Bazley fired off a letter to The ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

'Ours' meaning 'our home' - where is it used outside the UK, if anywhere?

In expressions like: Let's go back to ours and have some food. There's a party at ours on Friday. There's a bottle of brandy at yours, isn't there? 'ours' and 'yours' are synonyms for ...
1
vote
5answers
72 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.
10
votes
3answers
7k views

Where do “shenanigans” come from?

Shenanigans, or shenanigan, also with several variant spellings, can be dated to 1855 USA in both the OED and Etymonline, but the OED simply says "Origin obscure" and Etymonline throws a few guesses ...
4
votes
2answers
97 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
391 views

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

For those that do not know, there is a coffee drink that is sometimes called a shot in the dark. It consists of an espresso shot poured into a regular cup of Joe. Suppose that I would like to order ...
2
votes
2answers
111 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 ...
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
201 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
764 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
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 ...
17
votes
11answers
7k views

Idiom: in my neck of the woods, AmE

Idiom: in my neck of the woods (AmE) The meaning of this expression is: in the region where I live. I once tried to find out how a word that referred to a part of the body could later develop into ...
3
votes
4answers
5k views

“Late to the party” vs. “late for the party”

I've heard both versions, usually in similar contexts. Which one is correct or more correct — or more prevalent — in the USA? He: This deal ends at 7 p.m. She: Sucks, I am late to the party.
4
votes
3answers
411 views

“Tommyknockers”: why the “tommy” prefix in AmE?

From The Tommyknockers by Stephen King: Late last night and the night before, Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers, knocking at the door. I want to run, don't know if I can, 'cause I'm so afraid of ...
1
vote
1answer
81 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 ...