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

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51 views

Is it acceptable to have a period inside and outside of a quotation mark, if the inner period should be specifically specified in a quote?

For example, say I needed to specify that the following sentence should be written exactly as it appears: Use eye protection. Example: The statement previously appeared in the document as "Use eye ...
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68 views

Reported Speech: preference for using that after say/tell

A student of mine has stated (based on her experience watching films and TV shows) that, when using Reported Speech, Americans will more often use 'he said that X' or 'he told us that X' whereas ...
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62 views

Use of “trying to” in place of “wanting to” in the US

Is the use of "trying to" in place of "wanting to" occurring nationwide or regionally? What is its prevalence and when did it start? I'm in my late 20s and live in New England. In the past 2-3 ...
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22 views

Can I use “sleep-in” as a noun like “lie-in”?

I have some questions about "sleep in". Do you use the expression "to have a lie-in" in the US, Canada and other English-speaking countries? Can I use "sleep-in" as a noun like "lie-in"? "Have a ...
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59 views

Is “smothersome” a word?

A variation of "smother", obviously, to describe someone with an inclination to smother other people. "You're just too needy and smothersome." Thoughts? Corrections? Suggestions? Edit: Apologies ...
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28 views

How to communicate two elements of different syntactic/semantic type in the same sentence?

I have the following sentence, NAME is a community that helps each other code better by rating each other's efforts and helps managers pair with other fellow developers I was suggested by the ...
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248 views

Use of plural forms when using “Multi-xxx”

Which one is correct? A multi-languages university or A multi-language university? A multi-outlet socket or A multi-outlets socket?
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106 views

Phrasal verbs with synonymous opposites

There are some cases in English where one can substitute in a word that normally has an opposite meaning, but instead produces the same meaning. For examples, consider the following meanings and uses:...
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25 views

Watch what's happening or see what's happening?

Which one is correct? If neither, what should the verb be?
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75 views

“He could do X for England”. Are there similar expressions in other parts of the English-speaking world to this derogatory sentence?

In Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe novels, I've read the phrase: "He could [do x] for England. It is always derogatory. It is a lovely phrase! Because I can't put my finger on a quote from these ...
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37 views

“Came at [XYZ] life” origin?

What's the origin/etymology of "[ABC] came at [XYZ] life?" The definition according to Urban Dictionary is A phrase that is used in past tense to describe a situation in which another person ...
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560 views

What is the antonym to 'elevation'?

How do I say an opposite of "elevation of an object over the plane" which would mean "the level of the displacement of an object under the plane"? That is, I am looking for a word in "??? of an object ...
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77 views

Exceptions to the rule that AAVE can omit “is” and “are” iff the corresponding form in standard English can be contracted?

According to Wikipedia: Only the forms is and are (of which the latter is anyway often replaced by is) can be omitted; am, was, and were are not deleted. These forms cannot be omitted when ...
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91 views

Pronunciation of Who is it?

I heard the question "Who is it?" in a movie. [Person A] knocked on a door. [Person B] came to open the door, but before that he asks "Who is it?" This three syllables question can be pronounced ...
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261 views

Sentence stress and word linking with the problematic Y?

the question: Can I use your bathroom? phonetically looks like: [kə_naɪ ˈyuz yər ˈbæθˌrum] I think the stress should be on the verb USE and the noun BATHROOM. Am I right? Some dictionaries show the ...
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178 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 ...
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21 views

One could've it mistaken for…?

am currently writing a document that describes a person's behavior. And in one of my paragraphs, I have this three girls laughing so hard at a rooftop and a person from below might've mistaken their ...
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21 views

One word verb for “Used to tell”

please give me a good One word verb for "Used to tell". Sentence : My father used to tell me, “Mr. X reads newspapers , magazines published all over the country......." Please make the whole part ...
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21 views

Difference between twilight zone and gray area

I have found in dictionary that gray area = an ill-defined situation or area of activity not readily conforming to a category or set of rules. Twilight zone = The ambiguous region between two ...
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126 views

“Full of spit and vinegar” meaning

I was reading a book and couldn't understand the meaning of this: After all, how many times had her father complained that she was full of more spit and vinegar than most boys? I searched, but I ...
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34 views

Changing Spelling in Titles Based on AmE and BrE

For companies or corporations that have names that differ whether you are using AmE or BrE, should you change the title? For example, if I was referencing the the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control ...
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52 views

The United States. Possesive is its or their?

The United States made no secret of its/their hope to absorb the provinces... http://grammarist.com/usage/united-states/ "Although United States is usually treated as a singular noun, it’s treated ...
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42 views

small question about the or a

I and my wife are debating which way is correct when using the or a in our example. We are talking about a gender of our first baby. I prefer using: a gender of the baby is a boy. However, she ...
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15 views

Order of words?

Which is the most correct to write? Printed Arabic-English Text Recognition. or Recognition of Printed Arabic-English Text. In my opinion, both are correct but since i am not a native ...
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19 views

May “in with” be used to mean “among?”

I was thinking about how little I use the word among and how I would phrase the dictionary's example sentences for it. Most of it involved substitution with the word with. Then I noticed something. ...
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41 views

AmE: virgin forest

First time coming across the term virgin forest. Wiki gives a bunch of alternatives: Old-growth Forests An old-growth forest — also termed primary forest, virgin forest, primeval forest, late ...
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44 views

“Am I (ever) [adj.] ” vs. “How [adj.] I am”

What's the difference between saying, Boy, am I happy to see you again! Damn, am I ever lucky to have a friend like you! -and- Boy, how happy I am to see you again! Damn, how lucky ...
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186 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. ...
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62 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 ...
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46 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"?
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48 views

Technique of pronouncing the rhotic “r”

I, as a German native speaker, have two "techniques" of pronouncing the rhotic "r." I describe them as follows: I move my tongue upward, so it touches the upper row of my teeth and then just make a ...
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135 views

Is it grammatical to use redundant past tense?

is it grammatically correct to use "have" or "has" before a past tense verb? for example, which is more correct: (1) "Some called for..." vs. (2) "Some have called for..." or similarly, (3) "Some ...
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32 views

which word gives emphasis to other word

If A-cum-B denotes that, A and B are similar standing Which word describes B has having greater significance than A? For example : Accounts cum Finance means - both accounts and finance are of ...
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217 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 ...
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50 views

The difference really cannot

Is there any different in meaning between I cannot really and I really cannot?
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85 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 ...
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44 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!
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92 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 ...
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76 views

Way to stick it to

I am watching American comedy, Weird Loners. Mr A is on the phone and talking with headhunter. Mr. A: Jerry (headhunter), come on. I love the salary but these benefits are crap. You call me back ...
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394 views

Words with primary and secondary stress in a phrase

In the phrase "I'm in the same situation" the word "situation" phonetically looks like: [ˌsɪtʃ uˈeɪ ʃən] The first syllable of the word has secondary stress and the third syllable has primary ...
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112 views

Are both “How did you” and “Howdja” used?

How did you get here? [ 'haʊ dɪdʒʊ 'gɛt hɪər? ] I took the bus. How did you get here? [ 'haʊdʒə 'gɛt hɪər? ] I took the train. My question: are both "haʊ dɪdʒʊ" and "haʊdʒə" used in American English?...
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67 views

Stress in the question: How about you?

If I transcribe this question "How about you?" to IPA it looks like: [ haʊ əˈbaʊt yu]. The dictionary shows the word "about" with primary stress on its second syllable but I think in my question it ...
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54 views

Is it redundant to say “the plot of the story”?

I'm writing a paper about title cards and title sequences in movies and at one point I say These title cards were also used throughout silent films as they were essential to carrying the plot of ...
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472 views

Sentence stress: I'm sort of busy right now

I heard this phrase in a TV show: "I'm sort of busy right now". You can listen it here (I cut out the phrase): https://clyp.it/4khla44l Phonetically it looks like: [ɑɪm soərt əv bɪzi raɪt naʊ]. The ...
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134 views

I need to find out how to say this word who've

I don't know how to say this word so I need to find out how to say so that I can do my home work I am in 4 grade and I am doing my selling homework and I need you to help me find out how to say this ...
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44 views

Referral Campaigns or Your Referral Schemes

I have a referral program which comprises of 50% UK users and 50% US users. Taking into account location, what would be the most appropriate title to use... Your Referral Campaigns Or Your ...
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3 views

I can't understand this part: speaking

I am new to English and I cannot understand a part in a youtube video, this is the video: https://youtu.be/gi7kiUiYtv8?t=30 I cannot understand the part between 30 - 37 what he is saying? I can ...
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55 views

What preposition should I use before “celebration”?

What preposition should I use before celebration? At a celebration In a celebration On a celebration The context is: Nowruz holidays, the 'New Year's Day' in my country, are 13 ...
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15 views

“Beyond the iPhone” vs “The iPhone and beyond”

What would be the correct way to express evolution/forecast that will come in the future from specific event (in this case the invention of iPhone)? Beyond the iPhone The iPhone and beyond Or none ...
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26 views

Can we use apostrophe for holidays?

Can I say 13 days of March is Nowruz's holiday? Or I shouldn't use apostrophe?