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

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4
votes
8answers
30k views

Pronunciation of 'aunt' in the US

I was under the impression that all Americans pronounced aunt like the insect, ant (/ænt/), or relatively similar sounding variants such as the southern aint (/eɪnt/). According to both Webster and ...
-5
votes
4answers
597 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
1answer
60 views

What does “telling the truth has become a societal antiquity” mean?

What does "telling the truth has become a societal antiquity" mean? I saw it on a random post earlier today. I guess it could mean that it's an outdated method: that many people resort to lies.
1
vote
2answers
54 views

“He would go to the theater if I would go with him” - is this a correct sentence?

How to say properly in American English this sentence: "He would go to the theater if I would go with him". Does it look absolutely fine? First of all, I'm curious about two "would" in one sentence.
1
vote
1answer
163 views

AmE Phonetics: < I don't n-> /aʊn/ [closed]

Cut to the chase: While listening to the record 2.0 Boys by Slaughterhouse I've noticed that Joell Ortiz and Joe Budden pronounce such sequence of sounds — namely "I don't know" around 1:55 and ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

already , southern pronunciation ≈ [ʰɑɾi] “oddy”

Cut to the chase pals Could anybody confirm the southern pronunciation of "already" as something like oddy ? if so, What's its phonetic transcription? is there any eye spelling for it? I've noticed ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

Associates vs employees

I've noted that some US companies (I've seen that in less-than-stellar retail and fast-food chains) call people working for them "associates", rather than "employees". What would be the difference ...
5
votes
3answers
244 views

What is a word that describes a secret that passes on from a person to person?

I forgot this word. I tell a person a secret and ask him not to tell it to anyone else. That 2nd person tells another person and tells him not to disclose it to anyone else. But this goes on. ...
5
votes
2answers
287 views

19th century American English “slang”?

As I was doing a bit of research online I stumbled on this Children's Corner page 311 from the American Farmers' Magazine 1858. And, frankly, there are a lot of words that look totally foreign to me. ...
-3
votes
1answer
62 views

What exactly does “Standard” refer to in “(U.S.) Standard System”? [closed]

Why do Americans refer to the US imperial system of measurement as the standard system? In addition to the fact that the metric system is widely accepted as the standard system, the alternate term, ...
-2
votes
1answer
55 views

Is “originally first” a grammar error?

I understand that the phrase "originally first" is repetitive, but is it a grammatical error? For more context, the phrase appeared in the following sentence which was marked wrong for repetition. ...
1
vote
2answers
36 views

What's the word or phrase for “reading strategy/orientation”?

In English, we read from left-to-right, top-to-bottom. In traditional Japanese, text is read up-todown, right-to-left. Is there an English word that describes the "reading strategy" of a particular ...
1
vote
4answers
261 views

Is “dawdle” a common verb in American English?

Is "dawdle" a common verb in American English? In my limited experience I have never heard Americans use it.
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the origins of the regional pronoun “yinz” of southwestern Pennsylvania?

A common informal word used in southwestern Pennsylvania and the forefront example of what is commonly known as "Pittsburghese" is the word yinz, pronounced /jɪnz/ in IPA. Alternatively it is less ...
4
votes
3answers
602 views

Does American “condominium” as applies to building ownership have an equivalent term in British or Australian or other English dialects?

An American "condo" is a building, usually residential or industrial, that is owned in condominium by multiple parties. I've recently learned that this term isn't used in conversation in Britain or ...
10
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

What is “lemonade” in American English?

Lemonade is a fizzy drink, strongly carbonated. It comes in two varieties, white (which is actually colourless) and red. I have never known anyone to make it at home. Various things I've picked up in ...
8
votes
3answers
438 views

Are there any studies on changes in British English to become more like American English?

With the spread of American popular culture (movies, books, franchises, etc.) and technical jargon (manuals, Web syntaxes, default spell-check settings, etc.), I'm wondering if there have been any ...
-1
votes
1answer
91 views

no more feed the children commercials (and so on) [closed]

No more feed the children commercials. With 40 million over weight americans negros to eat, the african cannibals would have food for years I don't understand causality or a causal relationship ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

what does this mean “ I got 70 + application forms” [duplicate]

Today I saw, someone has written I got 70+ application forms What is the purpose of the plus sign in that statement?
0
votes
2answers
196 views

I'm writing an email to an investor. Please help me to improve my sentences [closed]

I am sending a detailed document about our idea, as requested by an investor. Are the sentences correct? Do they need any improvement? As per our conversation yesterday, I am sending you a ...
0
votes
2answers
154 views

“Mobile” vs. “cellphone” in AE

I already heard Americans use the term "mobile" for "cellphone" -- which I thought was chiefly BE -- and so I wish you could tell if such usage of "mobile" has any currency in GAE? Unless it might be ...
20
votes
6answers
74k views
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Difference in [ə] pronunciation at the end of a word in British and American English

I grew up speaking American English (San Diego to be specific). When I hear someone who speaks British English say a word that ends in [ə], like banana, I hear a weak but distinct 'r' sound attached ...
6
votes
10answers
45k 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, ...
45
votes
3answers
8k views

Why do some words have two past tense forms (e.g. “dreamed” vs. “dreamt”)?

While perusing ShreevatsaR's answer to this question, it occurred to me that my own verbal usage is out of step with what I see in current American literature. When speaking in the past tense, I ...
34
votes
9answers
11k views

How are 'marry', 'merry', and 'Mary' pronounced differently?

The way I pronounce these words is the same. Similarly for other words like these: I pronounce ferry and fairy the same, carrot and caret. Yet, dictionaries show different pronunciations for these ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Why is soldier ˈsōljər? Where did the “j” come from?

Just a pronunciation question. Is it a vestige of the spelling battle between i and j, where in English the j lost out to the i, but with soldier we retained the sound?
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Why don't Americans write “devor” instead of “devour”?

Why don't Americans write devor instead of devour to be consistent with the pervasiveness of using variations such as color and armor?
14
votes
2answers
4k views

“Oestrogen” and “oesophagus” — why are they spelled differently in British English?

Within Biology, there are some biological terms that differ in spelling between the British English and American English dictionaries. For example, oestrogen and oesophagus, as well as the word ...
12
votes
3answers
2k 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, ...
-1
votes
3answers
247 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
150 views

Using a name as a contraction with “is”, syntax looks possessive?

"Bob is fat" Would it be proper to do "Bob's fat"? To me, this looks possessive, as if we're talking about his fat rather than using "fat" as an adjective. What's the proper way to do this?
0
votes
1answer
106 views

Which Sentence Does Not Belong Here? [closed]

I am trying to figure out the sentence that does not belong to this paragraph. The researchers developed three criteria for the test subjects. The test subjects needed to be women because the drug ...
-2
votes
1answer
1k views

Difference between “I've got a cold” and “I've gotten a cold” in American English [duplicate]

I once heard there is a difference in meaning between these two sentences in AmE. Is there any? The possible duplicate Difference between "I have got" and "I have gotten" does not ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

“Theater” vs. “Theatre” in American English

Why is it that "theater" and "theatre" do not follow the traditional rules of British and American spelling? British spellings like "metre" and "centre" are consistently switched to "meter" and ...
0
votes
1answer
282 views

Where and how do I use the word “apparently”?

Does this word "apparently" mean that something is obvious or does it refer to something that seems true but actually isn't. Apparent means illusion, right? People use this word quite often and I ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

'Grasshopper' as a term for a neophyte

What is the origin of using the word "grasshopper" as a term for a neophyte or trainee? The most reliable reference I have is Urban Dictionary, who claims that it is from a 1970's television series ...
3
votes
3answers
377 views

Water caltrop in American English

There's a moderately popular fruit found in India known as panifal or singada in Hindi. The fruit comes from an aquatic plant that grows in stagnant or slow-moving water up to 10-15 foot deep. Here's ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

How should I arrange a foreign word and its translation in middle of sentence?

I'm having trouble with this sentence: "I possess what in spanish we call ganas, the desire, to attain a graduate degree." I think it's clear what I'm trying to say, but it sounds wrong. It ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Which organizations responsible for formalizing English Language (British and American) [duplicate]

I need this information to make my own English language site, but I do not want to use copy-paste from other sites or books. I need to find the source of information to make a correct content. If ...
1
vote
1answer
265 views

Why does Northern Ireland pronunciation sound similar to American?

Recently, I started watching a TV show The Fall, which takes place in Northern Ireland. Their intonations and accents are unique, but their pronunciation sounds a lot like North American English to ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

What do “doe” and “save us the conversation” mean? [closed]

First, I wanna ask the meaning of the word "doe". Is it like "buddy" or "pal"? Seems it has lots of meanings. Second, I wanna ask the meaning of the sentence that saves us the conversation. ...
7
votes
1answer
85 views

What Charles Ingalls was really going to say?

Here is full paragraph: Pa was on top of the walls, stretching the canvas wagon-top over the skeleton roof of saplings. The canvas billowed in the wind, Pa's beard blew wildly and his hair stood ...
2
votes
2answers
210 views

Is the phrase “Hello, my dear fellow” considered weird nowadays?

I was wondering if the "Hello, my dear fellow" salutation is considered weird nowadays. A friend of mine (one British chap) once said it sounded "gay" =) I'd like to ask native speakers' opinion. ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

“waiter” vs “server”

Are they really the same in every respect? What are the differences if any? In India, they're always called waiter regardless of the size and exclusivity of the establishment. Is it the same in the ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

Why to choose or Why choose? [duplicate]

I'm not a native English speaker so I need your help on this one. When talking about a company, which one is correct: 1)Why to choose Google 2)Why choose Google? For a non native speaker...why to ...
2
votes
2answers
113 views

American words for gas stoves

Please take a look at the following two images: In India, it's customary to refer to the thing in the first image as a "gas stove" and the second as a"cooking range" or "hob." Is it the same in ...
2
votes
3answers
137 views

Adrenaline vs epinephrine

I just stumbled upon a blog that states that epinephrine is the American name for adrenaline. Is it true? If so, how prevalent is this Americanism within America? And do they prefer epinephrine in ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

What are these vehicles called in the United States?

I understand the names for various types of cars in the US as well as elsewhere, such as hatchback, sedan, SUV, etc. However there are two classes of vehicles that don't seem to fall under any of ...