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

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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 ...
75
votes
1answer
269k views

What's the difference between “requester” and “requestor”?

Both are in dictionaries. I've heard people insist "requester" is correct for a person who requests something, and that "requestor" is wrong there, leaving me to wonder how it is used. Requestor ...
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. ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
10k views

Which is correct, “on-line” or “online”?

I am still seeing uses of on-line, though I think it is incorrect. For example: A web browser enables a user to go on-line/online. Can you tell me which is the more appropriate to use, on-line ...
7
votes
6answers
345 views

Is there a word or term for an attempt to simplify but which complicates instead?

Specifically something which seems simpler than an alternative at first glance but is actually complex on a closer examination. There are some things that have been coming up at work that fit this ...
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 ...
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
3answers
1k views

Single word for “Where are you guys?”

What slang expressions can I use to express "Where are you guys?" in a single word? I am looking for a very short, informal phrase or a single word I could use to ask this question that would still be ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
96 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 ...
3
votes
7answers
2k views

How does “spanner” come to mean “a wrench”?

"Wrenching" refers to an injury in which some muscle is forcibly twisted. A wrench is a tool that applies a twisting force to something, so that seems consistent. "To span" means to bridge a gap. ...
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
7
votes
5answers
1k views

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

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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
861 views

“Bakeshop” vs. “bake shop” vs. “bakery” vs. “bakery shop” vs. “bakehouse” for a baker's shop, and “bakeries” for “baked goods” in AmE

Are all four terms in current use in AmE today to refer to a bakery's shop where bread and other baked stuff like cakes and pastries are sold? As far as I know, "bakeshop", "bakehouse", and "bakery" ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a common English expression for when you were very tired or out of it and said something extremely stupid?

I kept thinking of "spazzing out" but that doesn't quite seem to be it. An example is when you're very tired and kind of dozing off and you say something or ask a question that is incredibly stupid ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Opens on vs Opens in

I have a service that deals with open hours of businesses. People can browse the service and see if their favorite business is open right now and if not, when is the next time that it will be open. ...
2
votes
4answers
21k views

“Do you have” vs “Have you got”

I am studying English and I want to know the main difference between “Have you got?” and “Do you have?” questions. Are they the same? Is one more formal than the other?
2
votes
1answer
65 views

GRE senetence completion

The following is a GRE sentence completion question. In failing to see that the justice's pronouncement merely ______ previous decisions rather than actually establishing a precedent,the ...
1
vote
2answers
96 views

Why do we say 'Salt to taste'?

Why do we say Salt to taste and don't say salt according to taste or salt for taste?
0
votes
0answers
68 views

An English expression or not

I'm a little bit confused about below expressions. Can anybody tell me which expression that sounds more English native? Thank you very much! There are lots of restaurants opening/opened along the ...
-1
votes
1answer
37 views

Why are there different definitions of symbolism?

Some commonly accepted symbolism: Wall Street-wealth, dove-peace. This is said to be correct at least by my teacher. I know that symbolism is basically using a physical thing to represent a less ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Colloquial American term for “miliaria”

Often during summers in the tropics, especially under intense heat conditions, we get a skin condition medically referred to as "miliaria." It comprises of reddish rashes with several tiny boil-like ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

“Why aren't I afraid?” [duplicate]

I came across this sentence in an e book. "Why aren't I afraid?" Is this the proper way to phrase the question?
1
vote
3answers
146 views

got ready vs is ready

A friend of mine corrected my sentence but I couldn't understand it. Just hoping someone can explain it properly for a non English speaker. My sentence is: "Finally your passport GOT ready for ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Is it necessary to use “The” on product name “The Last Words”? [closed]

EDIT: The company that I work is developing a game and we are deciding the best name of the game. The final one was "Last Words" but we were not sure if we have to use the "The Last Words" or just ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

“number of people purchasing X” vs “number of people who purchase X” [closed]

I'm confused between a) "number of people purchasing plane tickets" vs. b) "number of people who purchase plane tickets" Is a) okay to use if number of people purchasing tickets is increasing vs ...
6
votes
5answers
741 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 ...
10
votes
14answers
3k views

What's the word for someone who always likes being different?

...particularly with respect to the use of technology, taste in music, movies etc. I have seen my share of people like this who like to go "alternative" just to set themselves apart and I would like ...
0
votes
1answer
805 views

Use of the word “definitive edition”

Can I use the phrase "definitive edition" to explain that a product has the most up-to-date and highest quality in the field as opposite to mean "last edition of the same series"? Thank you for your ...
0
votes
2answers
253 views

What does “You play you pay!” mean?

Actually it's from the comedy show, Weird Loners. What does "You play you pay!" mean? Thanks. Text from phone : Where's my money ? I know where you live. You play you pay! ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Is this a right way to use “patience”?

Is it a right way to use "patience" here? Thank you for giving me so much help and great patience Thank you so much!
3
votes
3answers
250 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

How can I express this in another way?

I want to express the following sentence in another way. The first algorithm was applied to obtain the norm solution by gradually decreasing the value of X. Can anyone give me some help? Thank ...
-1
votes
1answer
53 views

How to use other ways to express the same meaning of a sentence?

I want to express the following sentence in several other ways: The five flowers selected by using Method 2 is selected from the 10 flowers already selected by Method 1. Can anyone give me some ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

Origin of the phrases “out back” and “out front”?

I'm going through the Song of Ice and Fire books, and although it's mostly written in what appears to be British English, very occasionally Americanisms sneak in. One example that I just noticed is ...
3
votes
2answers
125 views

What does Mitt Romney’s “yams” mean?

There was the following passage in Vanity Fair's (May 16) article titled, "Mitt “Bird Legs” Romney is ready for his boxing match.”: Romney also revealed two nicknames. As a high-schooler, he was ...
2
votes
3answers
339 views

“Homosexual” or “Gay and Lesbian”? [closed]

I have faced a problem with my writing which I could really do with some clarification on. My question applies to both British and American English (which is fairly standard on the internet). ...
2
votes
2answers
292 views

How to respond to “I'm sorry” appropriately

One thing that's been bugging me about English recently: Let's say I stole Joe's gym socks. Then a month later I went to Joe and said "I'm sorry I stole your socks." Joe's typical response would be ...
3
votes
3answers
164 views

What AmE dialect has “et” as the past tense of “eat”?

In several books and TV shows, there have been characters who say "et" instead of "ate" (As in, "I et dinner yesterday at 6:00"). I looked it up on Wiktionary, which defines it but doesn't say where ...
0
votes
0answers
68 views

“How you can you not” vs “how can you not”

Is "How you can you not" grammatically correct? For example in the following sentence: We still aren't sure that there's any Golden hiding in her but whatever her lineage how you can you not love ...
1
vote
2answers
82 views

Which is the appropriated term to refer to the paper with barcodes that you pay in your internet banking or physical bank?

I have an issue with an online purchase in the Steam platform. Now I need to open a ticket to get my issue solved, but I do not know which is the correct term to refer to the payment method that I ...
1
vote
3answers
37 views

Would I need a comma after the main clause here?

Would I need a comma before the word "as" in this sentence? The word "fear" also takes a new meaning(,) as it comes to represent a more self-centered notion.
2
votes
1answer
57 views

cancelled with two L's a generation thing or regional thing?

In the United States, we spell canceled with one l (or at least I grew up learning and using canceled with one l). However, now I see more and more people especially in blogs using cancelled, and ...
3
votes
3answers
376 views

Use of 'pagan' in an essay: is it acceptable or not?

I'm writing an essay right now and I'm deliberating whether or not I should use Pagan gods instead of Greek gods (to provide variation in the essay). I've looked up the word pagan in the dictionary ...
2
votes
3answers
383 views

How to avoid using lot of I's in the personal essay? [closed]

I am writing my statement of purpose for applying to grad school. When I read my statement of purpose I see a lot of "I"s: I did this I worked on this I want to I got to learn this I got ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Sample Curriculum for levels of English users [closed]

Just curious, where can I find a sample TEFL curriculum for different levels of English users for the ff: Basic, Elementary, pre-intermediate, intermediate, upper intermediate and advance? I'm really ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

How do you pronounce “is there” in fast speech?

I'm not a native speaker of English, and I was recently puzzled with the question, "How can Americans put their tongue in z (is) position and then change to th (there) in such short time?" May you ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Correct way to introduce yourself [duplicate]

In an interview, what is the correct way to introduce yourself? Some use "myself" and their name, and some use "I'm ___." I'm confused about what I use. Please guide me.