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

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2
votes
2answers
58 views

Can there be a difference between learned and learnt?

To the best of my knowledge, there is no difference in meaning between learnt and the single-syllable form of learned. This is supported by the answers to When do you use "learnt" and when "learned"? ...
-2
votes
1answer
100 views

Is there different word corresponding to “teatime” in American English?

There is a British English term "teatime" or "afternoon tea". I'm wondering how people refer to it in American English.
1
vote
3answers
326 views

What is the meaning of this wisecrack “If you can't beat members of the ”birther“ movement, join 'em.”?

I'm not an English native speaker and have no idea what is the meaning of this sentence: "If you can't beat members of the "birther" movement, join 'em." Could someone give me an explanation?
-1
votes
4answers
2k views

What does “could use a friend” mean?

I heard this word on some TV show and i have been trying to find its meaning(but they weren't of help much). Could someone please tell me ?
-1
votes
0answers
57 views

How come asian americans never developed a american accent with a mixure of asian languages? [on hold]

Its funny that Asian Americans(Chinese,Koreans,Japanese,etc)never developed an American accent with a mixture of Asian accent before African Americans had an African American accent.They speak with an ...
28
votes
4answers
6k views

How and when did American spelling supersede British spelling in the US?

Considering that Webster published his first dictionary in 1806, is there a recognised tipping point (year, decade, etc.) that marked the move from traditional British spelling to Webster's American? ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

what does “casting a long silver of gold” mean?

so, today I was reading this book and I came across this sentence: "At the very end of the passage, a door stood ajar, and a flickering light shone through the gap, casting a long silver of gold ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Linking Homorganic Consonants

when native speakers pronounce the phrase "Have a good time" do they tend to drop the "d" in the word "good"? The "t" and "d" are in the same tongue position and the only difference between them is ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

To gain/acquire/obtain comfort with something abstract - is this idiomatic, or at least acceptable?

I am encountering the expression "to gain comfort", "to acquire comfort", and to "obtain comfort" more and more lately. Example: "This issue was looked at in depth in 2013 and we obtained comfort at ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

What is British English for American English's “wire transfer”

This question is closely related to this one but is a little bit different. I'm in the U.S., and I'm attending a conference in Germany. The language of the conference is English. The instructions ...
-1
votes
0answers
30 views

Correct way of expressing this phrase [closed]

Ruddy duck (Anas saltensis) with a water drop on its beak swims at sunset under a golden light I'm trying to put a title for an image where there's a duck swimming with a little water drop on its ...
3
votes
6answers
3k views

Difference between floor and storey

I've read once about "x stories" .. Want to know if there is any difference between storey and floors. Or they are just alias for each other used in difference variations of english language ?
-3
votes
0answers
37 views

want to satisfy 100% buyer and want him to stick with my company [closed]

how to take 100% response from a buyer , like when he is asking for the rates and i want to hold him for some time and planning to tell him after a couple of week as here the market is unstable due to ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

What is the origin of the phrase “has some teeth to it”?

I know the phrase "has some teeth to it" refers to something that cuts and/or takes hold of something. It's used a lot in arguments / discussion of topics where serious / good counterpoints are used, ...
1
vote
2answers
12k views

What does “period” mean at the end of the American phrase?

What does period mean at the end of a sentence? For example: The stronger your core the easier your YRG(yoga) is gonna get period I didn't heard the sentence clearly because of the speaker's ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Which English to use in Portugal: British or American? [closed]

I'm not sure this is the right place to ask this, but any help is appreciated. I'm Portuguese, but I also use English for my work. For that, I use dictionaries in my computer. My question is: which ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Wrong use of words?

My friends who lives in China just sent me this snapshot of a test which she used to practice her English language skill-set. I took a look at it, and something bothers me. I might be completely wrong ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Is the word,“Whilst”, not used in US English?

In my spare time i sometimes help out a good friend of mine. He is a professional translator, self-employed so he can pretty much pick his own assignments, which is a good position to be in, but i ...
1
vote
4answers
67 views

What is the point of using Parentheses around only part of a word

I sometimes see parentheses around only part of a word. What does this mean? An example...Someone typed the phrase "mission (im)possible. I am unsure what the significance is of putting parentheses ...
1
vote
1answer
81 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
270 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
464 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

Do Americans use the term “garburator” or is there a better equivalent?

Is it obsolete to use the term garburator to refer to a garbage disposal unit in a kitchen? If it is, do we have a better term to replace it with? Also, what is the etymology of this word?
0
votes
1answer
197 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
3k 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
242 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
139 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
100 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
122 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
126 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
3answers
64 views

What is an alternative word for 'over-lit area'?

What is an alternative word to tell about 'over lit area'? I am using it in this example: The light from my lamp has over-lit my table.
3
votes
3answers
120 views

Is it arrogant to speak with a British accent among people with an American accent if english is my second language? [closed]

My mother tongue is spanish and during the university almost all my english professors were from England, after several years studying English as a Second Language (ESL) I ended up with a strange (and ...
0
votes
2answers
98 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.
10
votes
4answers
10k views

“Stick it in the boot.” “Er, don't you mean the trunk?”

Does anyone know the etymological history or the reason behind the different names that British and American speakers use to refer to the automobile's largest storage receptacle, or more plainly, the ...
0
votes
2answers
81 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 ...
32
votes
14answers
12k 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
67 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?"
1
vote
4answers
192 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Pronunciation of: I want a refund

I noticed in a TV show that the phrase "I want a refund" is pronounced like [I wanna refund]. I think the /t/ is dropped and /n/ is blended into the vowel. But how do Americans differentiate between ...
0
votes
1answer
45 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Why is it so hard to understand English over the phone?

I think I'm pretty good at English language and have made some progress over the years. I learnt by myself and that kind of made me feel proud of myself, however I had this trouble at an old job ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

“Sport” vs “Sports” Origin

I was recently reading this article on the use of "math" vs. "maths" as a collective noun (Americans use the former, Brits the latter). However, the trend seen in "math/maths" is reversed in ...
-3
votes
2answers
55 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 ...