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

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0
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1answer
57 views

An 'h' or a 'h' when just saying the letter? [duplicate]

I know for words starting with the letter 'h' the usage of "A" vs. "An" depends on how its pronounced. A - Before a word start­ing with a pro­nounced, breathy “h,” use “a.” Examples: A hotel; A ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

What is the best word to describe a thing is large, complicated and intelligent? [closed]

I am writing a description for our product to present in a small demonstration next week. I've built a system that serves people to save time and utilize/optimize their work. I intend to write about ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

“call someone/something” vs. “call someone/something up” for "make a phone call to someone/something

What's the difference between call and call up to mean make a telephone call to? Is the latter any more informal than the former, or is it mainly a regional thing? call someone or something up ...
0
votes
2answers
30 views

Too many commas [duplicate]

Please join us Monday, August 1, 2016, for the 4th Annual Tee It Up for Down Syndrome Golf Tournament at Deer Run Golf Club in Victoria, Minnesota Do I need a comma before and after the date?
2
votes
2answers
51 views

Sentence phrasing 'Please don't punish/scold/penalize' [closed]

Situation: I technician came to my house for installation/demo or Refrigerator. He was good but forgot to install a 'rat mesh' ( protect machine from rats). I called customer care to inform the ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

“vastly” for “to a [very] great degree; extremely” in contexts not involving comparison or measurement: BrEng vs. AmEng usage

Does using vastly to mean to a [very] great degree; extremely in contexts not involving measurement or comparison, now sound common and idiomatic to British ears, or is it still likely to be ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

Analysing “Ain't got no use for no coal company”

I'm writing my thesis and I have a problem analysing this sentence: "Ain't got no use for no coal company" (Grisham, 2014: 157). I know there's no subject - is it therefore an ellipsis? I don't ...
13
votes
12answers
4k views

“God's own country”

According to Collins-Robert English-French Dictionary by Beryl T. Atkins, Alain Duval, and Rosemary C. Milne, ed. 1985, manufactured in the United States of America by Rand McNally & Company, (...
3
votes
3answers
63 views

Adjective to describe the quality of liking to teach and/or having a talent for teaching?

I'm looking for a concise way to express the quality of enjoying or preferring to impart knowledge to other individuals. In a way, the counterpart to a person who is teachable or takes instruction ...
15
votes
11answers
3k views

What do you call the space where you park a car? Parking spot, space, bay or what?

I am looking for the correct/common way to call the single spaces which are generally clearly visibile in parking lots as you can see from the picture: I would probably call them "parking slots,...
5
votes
4answers
569 views

“exhibition” vs. “exposition” vs. “exhibit” in AmEng

What's the difference between those words with regard to a public showing, as of goods or works of art? Can these be used interchangeably? Both "exhibit" and "exposition" are marked as Americanisms ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Operator: “Are you through, Sir?” - AmEng vs. BrEng

In the context of a telephone call via an operator-assisted service, is it fact that in AmEng, if the operator asks the service user (caller) if they are through, what is meant by that is, are you ...
7
votes
2answers
155 views

AmEng equivalent for BrEng “decorator”

Oxford Dictionaries Online defines [interior] decorator as follows: 1.1 chiefly North American A person whose job is to design the interior of someone’s home, by choosing colors, carpets, ...
4
votes
2answers
142 views

“throw out/away” vs. “toss (out)” vs. “pitch (out/away)” for “dispose of; discard; get rid of as worthless or useless” in AmEng

What's the difference between "throw out/away," "toss out," and "pitch (out/away)" to mean, "get rid of as worthless or unnecessary"? Can these be used just about interchangeably? THROW AWAY Also,...
12
votes
1answer
198 views

What accents pronounce “quarter” as “korter”? Which other words can drop /w/ before /ɔr/ like this?

Many people drop the "w" from words like "dwarf," changing the pronunciation from /dwɔrf/ to /dɔrf/. This has led to the re-spelling "dorf" being used in some informal contexts, e.g. "Dorf Fort." My ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

Is there another way than [ɜr] to pronounce the grapheme “or” in words like “world” in AmEng?

It seems like I've lost count of the number of times that I've noticed some native speakers of American English pronounce the grapheme "or" in words like "world" as [oʊr] or [ɔr] rather than [ɜr]. ...
35
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do I pronounce “horrible” so harrhibly?

With Friends Like These A few months ago, a couple good friends brought up a topic they know I disdain, and kept prodding me for my opinion on it. They wouldn't let up, until finally I proclaimed "[...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

“Did you see XYZ movie” or “have you seen XYZ movie” [duplicate]

Eight years in the States and I still don't understand when it's good to use "I did" vs. "I have", especially when talking about movies. "Have you watched it?" "Did u watch?" Etc.
6
votes
2answers
154 views

Usage of “homework,” “schoolwork,” and “assignment” in AmEng for schoolwork given to students to do at home

As far as AmEng goes, is there any difference in using either homework, schoolwork, or assignment to call schoolwork given to students to be done at home? Can these be used just about interchangeably? ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

Piece of time/fragment of time/portion of time/bits of time

I have a question regarding the use of certain words to express an idea that implies portions of time. Is a “piece of time” an idiom or does it literally mean a “fragment of time”? I would really ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

At the heart of the party/in the center of the party/at the center of the party

I have a questing regarding space prepositions. For instance, if I want to specify that a woman and I are dancing at the central part of a room where a loud party is taking place, would it be correct ...
1
vote
3answers
86 views

“The population is 57,000” or “the population is 57,000 people”? [closed]

I'm having a devil of time googling this, so my apologies if this question has been answered before. Internet searching has been all but worthless, what with boolean cues being imprecise as they are. ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

What is the meaning of this excerpt?

I settled a debt(in process of) for certain amount with the government, but there is a note at the bottom which bothers me. If I understand correctly, this means that I would have to pay the reduced ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Does English slang have a feminine version of “breaking someone's balls”?

A question out of curiosity. Probably Not Safe For Work. Often times, I come across this phrase especially in Hollywood movies and sitcoms. Depending on how it's used, it either means that "someone ...
-2
votes
1answer
87 views

Can we say “There should be any problem for Adam to eat that apple”? [closed]

There should be any problem for Adam to eat that apple. Is this a proper sentence? The use of any here seems to be an issue. For example it seems fine in sentences like: I couldn't find any ...
-1
votes
1answer
84 views

What does word “nerd” mean exactly? [closed]

I always thought nerds were people who are into science and a bit socially awkward. Like characters in xkcd comic. But in all conversations on the internet, I see nerd refers to a person that is ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

Can we say “there should be any problem”? [closed]

Is this a proper sentence? "there should be any problem" I know we can say "there shouldnt be any problem" But can we say "there should be any problem" ?
62
votes
9answers
9k views

How is y’all’dn’t’ve pronounced

According to Wikipedia, y’all’dn’t’ve is a valid contraction. I am having difficulty pronouncing the L-D-N-T-V consonant cluster, especially since there is no vowel at the end (silent E). Y’all’dn’t’...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

What do you call this button-shaped thing?

I was changing the back light bulb on my car ,and I was struggling to unbutton this button-shaped thing . what do you call this button-shaped thing in English? It looks like a tack or a fastener. ...
-1
votes
1answer
101 views

Names for parts of a mug? [closed]

What are the different parts of the mug? I only know the handle.
0
votes
1answer
620 views

Does it sound good to write “With best compliments from” in an invitation? [closed]

Again it's somewhat similar to my previous question, but I need to know it too. I am preparing contents for a wedding card, I have little doubt in writing With best compliments from as the last line ...
1
vote
3answers
223 views

Is it correct to write “Awaiting to welcome you” in invitation? [closed]

I am preparing contents for a wedding card, I have little doubt in writing Awaiting to welcome you as the last line of the invitation. Is it okay to write it? or will you please tell me a good line ...
18
votes
11answers
3k views

Are there any similar phrases that are popular in the US to express “penny dropped”?

I met the phrase penny dropped today and learned that it is mainly used in UK. The Cambridge Idioms Dictionary via TheFreeDictionary.com defines it as if you say the penny drops, you mean that ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

Order of placing Mr. and Mrs. in a wedding card [closed]

I am designing a wedding card, I need to know how to start it, these are some samples: Mrs. & Mr. Xyz invite you.... Mr. & Mrs. Xyz invite you.... Mrs. Abc & Mr. Xyz invite you.... Mr. ...
1
vote
2answers
110 views

temporal “directly” in AmEng usage: “immediately/without delay” or “shortly/in a little while”?

What does directly commonly mean in standard AmEng when used as a temporal adverb, immediately/instantly/at once/right away/without delay -or- soon/shortly/in a little while? DIRECTLY At ...
5
votes
3answers
292 views

“conclude” vs. “decide” in AmEng

Can, in some instances, conclude and decide be used just about interchangeably as far as AmEng goes? Please, consider the following examples: The committee concluded on a plan of action. The ...
4
votes
4answers
460 views

“[will] likely” vs. “[will] probably” in AmEng usage

As far as AmEng goes, can likely be an acceptable alternate to probably in the following OUP quiz? The traffic is terrible so I'll probably be late this morning. Climate change is likely to ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

“frightened 'by' spiders” vs. “frightened 'of' spiders” in AmEng

Could you explain the difference between these two sentences: I'm frightened BY spiders. I'm frightened OF spiders. Obviously both are used in American English in the sense "have a fear ...
1
vote
0answers
121 views

Why does written English have more variations in pronunciation than other languages? [closed]

According to my experience, in languages like German, French, Chinese, Japanese, etc., there are not so many exceptions in pronunciation as in English. For example, given a word in German or French, ...
-1
votes
1answer
44 views

Whe do you use wouldju or wouldja when talking to someone? [closed]

What's the difference between Wouldja & Wouldju when talking to someone?
0
votes
3answers
97 views

Is it okay to say “Your explanation really solved my concerns" [closed]

Is it okay to say “You explanation really solved my concerns"? What are other ways to express this? Thank you!
1
vote
1answer
58 views

“separate” and “terminate” for “dismiss/discharge” from employment in AmEng

According to Oxford Dictionary Online, separate US Discharge or dismiss (someone) from service or employment. terminate chiefly North American End the employment of (someone); dismiss: ...
-2
votes
2answers
204 views

No one knows or no one know? [closed]

Can you tell which of the following sentences are right? And explain why the others are wrong? No one knows the answer. No one know the answer. There is nobody anwering the qustion. There is nobody ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

“downtime” vs. “time off” vs. “free time” vs. “spare time” in AmEng vernacular

How do those terms differ from each other? downtime North American A time of reduced activity or inactivity: everyone needs downtime to unwind ODO spare time Noun time available ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

To light a cigarette

I've heard "to light a cigarette" being used a couple of times, but I am still in doubt about two things: Is this common both in American English and British English? Are there other ways to say it ...
1
vote
2answers
40 views

informal word for a money manager

Imagine there's a group of friends and they're on a trip or on vacation. They're not going to chip in for every single spending; instead, a certain person shells out for everything throughout and when ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

“flat,” “stone,” “dead,” “dirt,” “plumb,” and “right” as indicators of directness, completeness, or general intensity [closed]

What's the difference between those words? Can they be used just about interchangeably as adverbs indicating completeness or totality? Please, compare: Looking back over my years of wildlife work,...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Usage of the verb “squinch” in AmEng

Collins American English Dictionary says: squinch (skwɪntʃ) (US) transitive verb to squint (the eyes); squinched up her eyes in disgust. M-W 2. a. to pucker ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Meaning of “Students in all majors” versus “Students of all majors”

I would like to know the difference between these sentences: I want to send an email to students of all majors I want to send an email to students in all majors How did of/in change the meaning of ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

Heel of Italy in Wikipedia? [closed]

Who can describe it for me? what does mean Heel and relation to italy? the region situated on the "heel" of Italy.