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

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4
votes
3answers
460 views

How to use the word “finna” correctly?

I've heard both "I'm finna go to the store" and "He finna go to the store." Do we prefer with "is, am, are", or without? Is it a regional / dialectic difference, or are they interchangeable?
5
votes
0answers
186 views

“Alcoholic” doesn't rhyme with “melancholic.” Why?

According to Merriam-Webster, the pronunciation of alcoholic is "ˌal-kə-ˈhȯ-lik, -ˈhä-" while the pronunciation of melancholic is "ˌme-lən-ˈkä-lik." OK, the title is an exaggeration: they can rhyme ...
3
votes
1answer
45 views

“trade” for “business deal; transaction” in North American vernacular

Harrap's New Shorter English-French Dictionary, Ed. 1982, states, trade [...] 2. (b) NAm (i) transaction (commerciale); (ii) clientèle f (d'une maison); carriage trade, grosse clientèle. ...
2
votes
7answers
707 views

Is “key” as an adjective, meaning “crucial”, standard in American English?

As an adjective, key can mean "Of crucial importance" (Oxford). For example: the key facts are the most important facts, or a key worker is an employee whose role is especially vital. In British ...
2
votes
3answers
206 views

Is “have/has got” a perfect for BrE, but not AmE?

In BrE the past participle of get is in most cases got, while in AmE it is almost always gotten. Does that imply that in the context of BrE "have/has got" is a genuine perfect construction, whereas ...
0
votes
2answers
40 views

One Word : What do you call who chill / relax a lot? [on hold]

I need one word for people who chill / party / relax / play games / travel and just chill most of the time.
2
votes
0answers
33 views

What is the difference between “look into” and “look at” when used in figurative meaning? [on hold]

Thank you for sending me the introduction of your company. We will "look into"/"look at" it later. What is the difference between "look into" and "look at" when used with a figurative meaning ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

“available (availability)” vs. “valid (validity)” for “having sufficient power or efficacy” in AmEng vernacular

Per Random House Webster's College Dictionary, Ed. 1991, available suitable or ready for use; of use or service; at hand: I used whatever tools were available. readily obtainable; ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “chaperon” versus “chaperone” a US versus British English thing?

I've noticed that "chaperone" can also be spelt "chaperon", without the "e" at the end. Is this a case of American English simplifying a British English word, or something else? The original French ...
-3
votes
1answer
38 views

Help rewrite my mission statement [on hold]

We believe in: • Enhacing hiking oportunities by to exploring new trails and diverse ecosystems • Preserving hiking trails throught sharing our passion and knowledge • Hiking trails are our ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

how while usage in this sentence written below which is asked in amcat 2015 [on hold]

Can i know how while used in in this context. He is better acquainted with the place ____ I am . (a) which (b) that (c) while (d) than ANS:(C)
0
votes
0answers
43 views

I wouldn't vs I'd not

I'm defending my word choice to an editor in a novel I've written. There are two points of view: one is a native Irish speaker, and the other, an American born and raised here. They're both eighteen. ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

They don't like I spend time alone vs they don't like me spending time alone

"They don't like I spend time alone" I'm not a native speaker but I found this sentence written by non-native speaker kind of awkward and I'm wondering if this sentence is natural or grammatically ...
15
votes
7answers
7k views

“to bath” vs “to bathe”

Recently, I came across the verb to bathe written as bath in two English coursebooks used by Italian students. The first time I saw it, I dismissed it as a typographical error and told my private ...
0
votes
1answer
338 views

True antonym to braggart/exhibitionist?

Braggart is a noun meaning someone who boasts about their achievements. Exhibitionist is also a noun meaning a person who acts in an extravagant way. Another example of a word in this synonym-family ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

'Wasn't dressed' vs 'Didn't dress'

I was wondering what is the difference between : She didn't dress properly to the live performance. and She wasn't dressed properly to the live performance. If it's completely identical ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

English Grammar [migrated]

I have a sentence: "We are having a party this evening" I don't know why we use present continuous. In grammar, we don't use having for possess. Thank you for reading
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Can I use meet for an online meeting?

I would like to know if I can say "We can meet on Monday or Tuesday" in email as a reply to a sales person's email asking for a couple of days options for an online meeting -- a sort of Skype call. I ...
1
vote
1answer
157 views

a flap in “wedding” and “bidding”

I'm wondering if a flap occurs in "wedding", and "bidding" in American pronunciation? I can't hear it out here: http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/wedding
14
votes
5answers
23k views

What's the difference between “rent” and “hire” in British and American English?

The tip I used to teach was the verb, hire, should be used for things which are transportable hence, you hire a car, sports equipment, a boat, a bike etc. Rent, on the other hand, is primarily used ...
3
votes
2answers
66 views

what is the meaning of “pro-rate”? [on hold]

What does "pro-rate" in following sentence mean? We pro-rate our prices if you join after a session has started does it mean that they reduce the price if I want to enroll after a session has ...
8
votes
4answers
215 views

“[a/the] equivalent of” vs. “[a/the] equivalent for” vs. “[a/the] equivalent to”

Which of the following constructs sound more idiomatic to you? Is there any British/American equivalent to the French phrase "broyer du noir"? Is there any British/American equivalent for the ...
0
votes
4answers
101 views

more unhealthy vs. unhealthier

First off, I'm not a native speaker but this question isn't about the rules themselves but rather usage in the USA. I learnt that you should say 'unhealthier' (and the Oxford + Longman dictionaries I ...
7
votes
2answers
703 views

Nylon bag vs plastic bag

I was buying some carry out and I asked for a nylon bag. The cashier, who is not a native speaker, gave me a look and offered a 'plastic bag', which is what I wanted to begin with. I don't know why I ...
4
votes
4answers
118 views

Collective “linens” vs. “linen” in AmEng vernacular

What's the difference in using the uncountable noun linen either in the plural or in the singular to refer to articles or garments, such as sheets, tablecloths, or underwear? How did originally ...
5
votes
7answers
483 views

“Would you mind and do something” in nonstandard colloquial AmEng

Does Would you mind and do something instead of Would you mind doing something sound acceptable in spoken AmEng, or is it an attempt to imitate or render colloquial speech in not so formal writing? ...
1
vote
3answers
87 views

“crash” vs. “wreck” for [road/air] accident in AmEng

What's the difference between those terms in relation to a road or air accident? crash verb (Aeronautics) to cause (an aircraft) to hit land or water violently resulting in severe damage ...
3
votes
5answers
320 views

Ambiguous meaning of NAmEng sense of “skill” in Harrap's English-French Dictionary

Harrap's New Shorter English-French/French-English Dictionary, Ed. 1982, states, skill n 1. habileté f, adresse f, dextérité f; technical skill, habileté, aptitude f, technique; ...
0
votes
4answers
260 views

Pronunciation Feedback Required

Did I pronounce the phrase "I'm gonna be gone for five weeks" correctly? https://clyp.it/oobrogbu Phonetically it looks like: [aɪm gɑnə bɪ gɔn fər faɪv wiks]. I have no idea which words should I ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

The meaning of “play off” here

"While playing off the hype of the TV show reboot "The X-files," the CIA broke down the cases into two categories, whether you side with Agent Mulder or Agent Scully." I'm studying English and I ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Does a group have an earache or earaches?

If I have a pain in my ear, I will say "I have an earache." Now what happens if I am talking about more than one person? Would I say "They have an earache", or "They have earaches"?
4
votes
4answers
144 views

How do some people develop the tendency to overuse particular words?

My ninth-grade history teacher said ultimately so much that a classmate and I started keeping tally each day. He once said ultimately 26 times in a 48-minute period. A co-worker's response to most ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

A is B that is C, C refers to A or B?

He works in our company that is nice. In the above sentence, "nice" refers to company? or it can also refer to company? How about a general A is B that is C sentence?
5
votes
5answers
92 views

What's the more common way to refer to a road with 180° curves?

A hairpin road is a road with hairpin turns or bends. According to Wikipedia: A hairpin bend , named for its resemblance to a hairpin/bobby pin, is a bend in a road with a very acute ...
3
votes
2answers
201 views

Plastic silverware - What's that? (American English)

I was surprised to discover that what we Brits call cutlery is called silverware in the U.S. To me the term 'silverware' refers to items that are made of pure silver or, at the very least, are ...
-1
votes
1answer
22 views
3
votes
1answer
162 views

“Accessory” pronounced with a stress on the first syllable

I'm a first language English speaker, but grew up Bilingual in Spanish in a Spanish speaking country. Today I was speaking to another first language English speaker (Canadian) and used the word ...
3
votes
2answers
102 views

“[ball]park” in AmEng vernacular

Are the terms ballpark and park specific to baseball in AmEng, or can they also be used for every which athletic stadium in which ball games like soccer or rugby are played? For example, would a ...
2
votes
3answers
73 views

“road” vs. “pavement” vs. “roadway” for French “chaussée” [road surface] in AmEng vernacular

What's the difference between those terms? Can they be used just about interchangeably? road: a long, narrow stretch with a leveled or paved surface, made for traveling by motor vehicle, carriage, ...
4
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
-3
votes
3answers
1k 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" ...
6
votes
1answer
210 views

“Carbine” rifle | is there pronunciation demographic data?

Let me count the ways: Car-bine (like: dine, refine, canine.) Car-bean (like: green bean, ravine, serpentine.) CAR-buhn (like: ..like the right and proper way to pronounce the scotch 'Oban'.) ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Does Bender from Futurama sound like a non-American? [closed]

Robot Bender is one of the main characters in the animated television series 'Futurama'. Bender — Best moments (5 minute video). Does Bender speak ‘proper’ American English? Does he have an ...
7
votes
2answers
16k views

“courgettes” vs. “zucchini” under a historical perspective

In this TimLymington's answer it is said: Interestingly, there is another vegetable with the same identity problem; what the British call courgettes and the Americans zucchini. What is the ...
0
votes
3answers
203 views

“To tame” for “to cultivate [vegetables, a land, etc.]” and “to domesticate (or farm) [poultry, fish, etc.]” in AmE

The Harrap's New Shorter French and English dictionary Ed. 1985, defines both verbal and adjectival "tame" as Americanisms for respectively "to cultivate" and "cultivated", as of a plant or a land ...
3
votes
2answers
693 views

“Snub out a cigarette” for “stub out a cigarette” in AmEng

My bilingual dictionary marks "snub out” as an Americanism for “stub out” as in, “He snubbed out his cigarette.” Is this phrasal verb common enough in present-day spoken AmEng that it can be used ...
1
vote
1answer
20 views

Using For+noun, in conversations

I'm currently studying English in the US and I heard a lot of people start sentences with 'for~'. For me, it sounds like it means 'as for' or 'when it comes to'. Is that right? If so, is it common ...
4
votes
4answers
35 views

term or phrase representing a placeholder or variable

How can I express in standard American English that events occur "every X days" or end "after X occurrences" — here, "X" is a placeholder for a variable and unknown quantity — without ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

“All-American” … which usage came first?

In the U.S., "All-American" can mean two things. (1) It can be used as a general phrase, meaning simply clean-cut and middle class. "He's the all-American boy" is a cliché sentence. Note, this usage ...
9
votes
3answers
103 views

What is the etymology of the term “form factor”?

I'm a theoretical physicist, and am doing some work on quantities called form factors. To an expert, a form factor says something about scattering particles from fields. This probably originated from ...