This tag is for questions related to English as spoken in Great Britain, and sometimes Ireland.

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how to respond when our boss says i am sorry for not replying to your mail in uk english?

I had sent a mail for leave application to my boss, but she was not around to reply, she replied me saying sorry the next day, so how should i respond?
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0answers
41 views

Did salacious literature appear in 19th century America?

This letter which appeared in yesterday's Guardian illustrates that Dickens was not above a bit of concealed rudeness in his text. There may be much more where that came from. A search online for ...
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0answers
17 views

Are the following rules correct? Why? [on hold]

When referring to a group that includes you, list yourself at the end: Example: 'Alex, Mason and I went on a field trip.' Instead of 'I, Alex and Mason went on a field trip' While when referring ...
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1answer
31 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 ...
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4answers
484 views

Using archaic (obsolete) words for decimal penny

So, is it possible to use words such as the "threepence", "elevenpence" etc. for sums in new pence (introduced after 1971)? For example, to read the value of £6.03 as "six pounds and threepence" ...
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2answers
45 views

“graduate from” vs. “graduating from” [duplicate]

Basically I want to say I am graduated today. Here is the sentences: it is a huge honour to graduate from a top university such as ...... . It is correct? or it must be "to be graduating". Thanks
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1answer
46 views

Pronouncing 'Going' in UK English

How to pronounce 'going' in UK english? As per phonetics 'go' is pronounced as 'go-v' So when we add 'ing' whether we have to pronounce it 'go-v-ing'or just 'going'?
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1answer
52 views

Checkboxes vs. Checkboces [closed]

I know that you can say both e.g. indexes and indices, but does it apply to all the words with similar ending? I'm interested about checkboxes vs checkboces in particular.
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3answers
142 views

Using 'tedious' to mean 'annoying'

Some of my British friends use the word 'tedious' to mean 'annoying.' A recent example: The museums in Oslo aren't open on Mondays. That's a bit tedious. I'm a native American English speaker ...
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0answers
41 views

Comments on baby girl photo [closed]

I want to comment on a baby girl photo but im unable to find some impressive words. Plz help me out with this. Thanks
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2answers
47 views

How does “to quieten” differ from “to quiet”?

I recently saw this headline from the BBC: Indonesia seeks to quieten noisy mosques during Ramadan I'm a native AmE speaker, and have never seen this usage (which I am assuming is BrE, due to ...
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1answer
48 views

Which is correct: “Real Madrid compete very well,” or “Real Madrid competes very well?” [duplicate]

I think there's a difference in the ways in which sports announcers from the U.S. and U.K. refer to the teams. If my memory serves me correctly, I think announcers in FIFA from the U.K. will use forms ...
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2answers
64 views

How to stay true to a Welsh setting? [closed]

I'm currently in the process of writing a short story set in Wales. I think I've done justice to the setting of the story and used it convincingly enough. The only thing that bothers me is that the ...
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2answers
42 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 ...
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1answer
36 views

“Why has this watch stopped?” Thought Ahmed,

"Why has this watch stopped? " Thought Ahmed, How to change this sentence into Narration? I tried to make its Indirect speech, but I could not change it.
2
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1answer
68 views

Swear words in common usage by educated people in 1916

What swear words might have been commonly used in conversation (and, in particular, oral argument) in and around 1916, by literate men? As sources from the time are largely written, it is difficult to ...
4
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2answers
51 views

Is 'yeah-nah' a uniquely Australian idiom?

There is a response in Australian English that means "Yes I hear you and empathise with your situation, but no this course of action won't work for me." [Yeah-Nah] I assumed this was a normal part of ...
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1answer
28 views

what does “slash the odds of something” mean?

it seems cutting the odds means, according to this website, decreasing the possibility of something happening. I thought slashing the odds meant the same but apparently it's the opposite? Unilad ...
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1answer
34 views

Which of the following sentences is correct? (“Due to address” vs. “Due to addressing”)

Due to address the convention in July, Brown planned to address the issue of low-income housing in his speech. Due to addressing the convention in July, Brown planned to address the issue of ...
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5answers
1k views

What do you call a building, or rooms within it, where doctors see their patients?

My understanding is as follows. Is this universally agreed? The OED sense 2a of surgery explains its use to describe the room where a doctor sees his patients. The OED gives no indication that this ...
2
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1answer
93 views

Pronunciation of 'finance' and 'financial' in the media

This is just something I've noticed over the last few years in the English (UK) media and I wondered if there is some explanation for it. It used to be that 'financial' and 'finance' were pronounced ...
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3answers
62 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 ...
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3answers
74 views

What is a “lemus”? [closed]

Here's a fragment from "The Complete Fursey" by Mervyn Wall: Other religious settlements were sadly plagued by disembodied spirits, demons, lemuses and fauns snorting and snuffling most fiendishly ...
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3answers
326 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 ...
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2answers
224 views

When someone leaves at 4pm - should I say “Have a good afternoon” or “evening”? [closed]

Could you please help me? I started work as a receptionist. I have to greet people that come and go. What should I say in this occasion: example: It is 4 pm and the client is leaving. Should I say ...
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2answers
83 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?
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3answers
211 views

How to reply to “you ok” in British? [closed]

I recently shifted in UK and started to work, here people always say "you ok?" When I am in kitchen or I am working and they pass by. How should i respond to it. Is it rude to simply say I m good or ...
5
votes
1answer
143 views

What does “Rabbit” mean on 1st of June

My english teacher told me, that is common in England to say "Rabbits" on the 1st of june. What does it mean? where does this tradition come from? Does the people say it only on the 1st of June? ...
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votes
2answers
74 views

(go) off the boil

"(go)off the boil" seems to mean "past the crisis" in British English. What is the origin/etymology of this expression? Is it used nowadays?
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3answers
103 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 ...
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1answer
114 views

What's the meaning of “I can't imagine why.”? [closed]

Does it mean "The answer is obvious to me." in a sarcastic way, or does it mean "I really don't know the reason."? I am inclined to go with the former. Surprisingly googling doesn't help. Secondly, ...
-1
votes
1answer
73 views

Correct according to British English language rules [closed]

I have a sentence which looks as if it may have some grammar rules problems. Can someone correct it according to British English rules? I am going to hospital to see a friend who has undergone ...
3
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1answer
139 views

Colloquial English word for: a “Remote control”

What is the most popular word used for calling: "Remote control" in British families? How do the people call it? How the children call it? Thanks!
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0answers
60 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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1answer
22 views

Is there a verb for the act of making an object oblate (or prolate)?

I'm looking for a verb denoting the act of making a circle elliptic, i.e. making it oblate (or prolate for that matter). Is there a single word for it, or do I need to rewrite? I tried searching for ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

Not using 'like' for similes — where does this come from? [closed]

I just got back some feedback on a piece of work of mine from a proofreader. One of his comments is that I use like in similes a lot, and I shouldn't do that --- I should be using as if instead; he ...
0
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1answer
38 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 ...
2
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2answers
123 views

Can you “reach” someone to a location?

In "proper" British English, can you "reach" someone to a location? My mother in law keeps using the word "reach" as a synonym for "take" (or "transport"): "I'll reach you to the train station." It ...
2
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2answers
104 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 ...
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1answer
37 views

Analysis of the word [closed]

What's wrong with the sentence: Put the rest of the water at the back of the door in the kitchen
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2answers
111 views

How is the past tense of “error” spelt in British English? [duplicate]

How is the past tense of "error" spelt in British English? Wiktionary says that it's "errored", but its entry for errored doesn't explicitly say it's valid for British English, and I thought it'd get ...
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votes
1answer
90 views

Pronunciation for the word “competent.”

I hope that some of you might be able to quell this dilemma of mine. I would like to know the British pronunciation for the word "competent." Is it pronounced as: "com-pɪ-tent" or "com-pə-tent" with ...
1
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1answer
79 views

Some problems with definite articles

Is there anything good on telly tonight? Why don't we place an article before "telly"? I think it should be "on the telly". He enjoys the beauties of nature in Siberia. Why do we use ...
1
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2answers
72 views

Un cancel? A word or phrase to say I'd like to cancel my cancellation

Say I have cancelled an appointment, but I then decide that I would like to go after all, so I cancel the cancellation... Do I uncancel the appointment? Seems a bit clumsy even if it's a valid ...
0
votes
2answers
326 views

“When will you come” vs. “When are you coming”? [closed]

One of my friends will come to my city "Ahmedabad" on 18th May 2015. In a WhatsApp group chat, my friend asked him, "When are you coming to Ahmedabad?" I corrected my friend: "When will ...
8
votes
1answer
169 views

From Livorno to Leghorn and back again

Can anyone tell me why the Tuscan city of Livorno used to be called Leghorn in English? An increasing number of British writers, artists, philosophers, and travelers visited the area and ...
3
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2answers
98 views

Capitalization in mid-20th century British English

While reading the early "Thomas the Tank Engine" books (published in the 1940s and 50s in Britain) I was struck by the somewhat odd capitalisation used. Most of the text is capitalised as in modern ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Is “hoover” capitalised? [duplicate]

In the UK (and sometimes Australia), a vacuum cleaner will be called a hoover, regardless of its brand. Likewise, the verb "to vacuum" is replaced with "to hoover". With a brand name being used in ...
8
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2answers
520 views

Q: Why isn't he answering? A: 1) He must have already slept 2) … must have been sleeping?

I didn't reply to a ping in the chatroom. The English enthusiast suggested this about me at the time: He must have already slept. Hours (and dreams) later, I came back, I saw the above ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Duvet or “Cover bed” …?

I have a few concerns about sleeping words. Could You please help me? Is there such a word like: "cover bed"? Or the one appropriate word is: duvet? What is the difference between duvet and quilt? ...