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

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3
votes
2answers
31 views

You're Coming On All-(blank), Coming Over All-(blank)

I'd like to know how widespread these statements are in the UK. In the movie 'In Bruges' Ralph Fiennes says to, a suddenly, soft-sounding Brendan Gleeson (employed as a hit-man by Fiennes): ...
2
votes
2answers
49 views

Can I use “will” as non-auxiliary verb?

I was in England and I heard that some people use word "will" as non auxiliary verb, in meaning "wish". Have I misheard? If it is true, in which cases can I use "will" as non auxiliary verb?
1
vote
4answers
96 views

Apartment building - flat building?

Does anyone in the UK say 'flat building'? I live in the US, mind, so I have no clue. It sounds a bit funny saying that. Do they say 'apartment building' instead, maybe? Or is there another word for a ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Pronunciation problem [closed]

I am from India. I am very eager to learn English. So I am used to add some English words with my language. But My friends says that you are having problem with your pronunciation. I tried a lot of ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Shalln't vs. Shan't in British English

I am a British English speaker and often use "shall" and "shall not". When I contract "shall not", I pronounce it [ʃɑlnt] -- that is, the "l" sound remains. My question, therefore, is how do I spell ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Question about prepositions/conjunctions (from, to…)

Can you please tell which (if any) of the following is correct? Where are you coming from?/From where are you coming? Who will you give it to?/To whom will you give it? What for?/For ...
0
votes
0answers
9 views

Precis Excercise Guidance [migrated]

I am practicing "Precis Writing" now a days. I checked that there is no TAG regarding precis or summary. I want to ask where or on which stack I can put such questions regarding precis writing. ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

'Little' and 'small' in British vs American English

Is the preference for 'little' over 'small' one of the things that differentiates British from American English? I find expressions like "I'm only little" or "She's only little" in British children ...
4
votes
2answers
365 views

Meaning of Down to the?

What is the meaning of down to the? E.g. in this statement: In order to use this feature, the statements must be exactly the same - down to the number of spaces, tabs, capital/small letters. ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Can we use both British English and American English in the same article?

Can we use British English trends and American English trends (such as spelling, or turns of phrase) in different sentences in the one topic?
1
vote
2answers
73 views

There's a good fellow [Phrase]

I would like to learn more about the meaning of the phrase: There's a good fellow. All that I know is that it is used for praising or encouraging a child or an animal. Is it right?
2
votes
3answers
134 views

Is it possible to learn English by just listening and speaking (without knowing formal grammar rules) [closed]

My native language is Chinese. Most people in my country grow up without having been taught formal grammar. I am surprised to find foreigners being taught Chinese and learning grammar rules that even ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

English subways have 'Cars', but English Surface Trains have 'Carriages'. Why the Difference?

I heard both terms used in an episode of 'Sherlock'. It seems like one term or the other should do for both surface and underground trains.
2
votes
0answers
52 views

What expressions/words are still used in Indian English that are no longer in British English? [duplicate]

I was traveling through India recently and noticed that many expressions that people used that I saw were somewhat older expressions, now disused in Standard English. Examples of these were: ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Is there a systematic difference between /a:/ in BrE and /æ:/ in AmE?

so another question I have is that whether it is systematic (a regular pattern) between /a:/ in BrE and /æ:/ in AmE or not. There are words that a pronounced differently like dance or rather. I have ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Question related to cover letter [closed]

I have a few queries regarding how to write a cover letter: "make a real contribution as member of your team." or "make a real contribution as A member of your team." "If I may be a further ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

“The idea of the X came from Y” vs “The idea of the X raised from Y”

I'm confiused a little bit in a correct usage of the word idea in sentences. Wich one of the following correct? The idea of the system design came from the knowledge acquired in literature review ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

Origin of “old bag”?

What is the origin of the term old bag as a derogatory term for an older lady? In the UK it is exclusively used to describe females. There appears to be nothing intrinsically feminine about bags. ...
0
votes
3answers
128 views

The other end of an “offer” [closed]

In replying to this email, sender: I believe you were interested in applying for a Moffat Scholarship Award (etc. etc.) my response: Thanks for your email and I appreciate the offer. But I'm ...
0
votes
2answers
68 views

What's the British equivalent of American “Formica” for faux wood?

In America, the word "Formica" refers to the laminate wood surface of a certain era. (Correct me if I'm wrong on this, as I'm not an American.) This word has a certain retro feel to it. So it would ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Plural/singular form for a company in American English? [duplicate]

Somewhere on the internet a guy claims that in American English it's proper to use the singular form for conjugating the predicate of group terms such as company, band, team etc. In British English, ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Is the use of a period within quotes, in a sentence, accepted?

In the article by Anthoney McCartney on Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/man-arrested-red-carpet-says-never-hit-pitt-172635914.html): Don't get offended at me. Don't get mad at me. And just to ...
7
votes
10answers
511 views

Alternative to “a bunch”?

About two years ago I watched some old Monty Python interviews. In one of them, Graham Chapman, a Brit, makes fun of Terry Gilliam (the only American) for his lack of vocabulary. He specifically cited ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Is there a single word for people/ consultants who partner with our health? [closed]

We made a card for hospitals which introduces the doctors to its patients. We named the card Meet Your Healers, but we need a new word to replace Healers now.
2
votes
1answer
54 views

What is the origin of “journal” to mean a mechanical shaft?

What is the origin of "journal" to mean a mechanical shaft? A more common modern use is in "journal bearing" which refers to the sliding surface between a rotating shaft and a hole it passes through ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

What does the term 'grocer' mean in this song? (British usage)

In the song "Waiting for Margret to Go," which is about the death of Margaret Thatcher, the artist says "Grocers and Methodists lay her down low". What is the artist referring to by "grocer"? Is it ...
2
votes
3answers
95 views

Conditional sentences - which is correct?

If I had bought insurance for the trip, I would have got a refund after I got sick and had to cancel. OR If I had bought insurance for the trip, I would have got a refund after I had got sick and ...
0
votes
2answers
278 views

What would be your reply if someone asks you, “How do you do?” [duplicate]

What would be your reply, if someone asks you How do you do?
0
votes
3answers
80 views

Difference in meaning between “booking is amended” and “booking has been amended” [duplicate]

What is the difference in meaning between "booking is amended" and "booking has been amended"?
2
votes
1answer
24 views

“for X to debate Y” or “for X to debate with Y”

I posted the following on Facebook earlier today: For a moment, I thought that Newsnight had arranged for Zizek to debate Farage. only for a friend to reply "debate with, surely?". Is this ...
5
votes
3answers
168 views

What word describes a university class in both the UK and the US?

In the US words like class, subject, course are used to describe a university class, while in the UK, words like subject and course are used to describe the name of the whole university degree. ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Those who were or those who are? [closed]

I'm confused whether to use were or are on this... I detest liars, especially those who were/are making it up as a go-to-excuse. Thanks
10
votes
2answers
233 views

Is “kip” Chinese in origin?

While looking up the history of kip for a previous question of mine, I realized that the information about its origins is rather scant. The noun and verb to kip in BrEng is often said when a person ...
30
votes
4answers
2k views

“Maths” for “Mathematics”; where does the S come from?

So in US English we shorten mathematics to math, and in the UK they say maths. Where does the 'S' come from in the UK version? For some reason I had it in my head that this was just because it's ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

Exact word when we throw a rope in english

What's the exact word for throwing a fish hook or a rope whose one end we are holding. Any help is appreciated.
1
vote
0answers
24 views

“Traveller” vs. “traveler” [duplicate]

There was a time when traveller's cheques were emitted and sold by the banks in England and by Thomas Cook. However the cheques emitted by American banks/American Express were named traveler's cheque, ...
1
vote
2answers
116 views

Etymology of the words “narky” and “narked”

Anybody have any idea where the word "narky" comes from? I speak British English and I understand the word to mean irritated or bad-tempered. Similarly I've heard the phrase "narked off". ...
1
vote
3answers
466 views

What is the vocative expression we can use to attract the attention of someone whose name or surname we don't know?

I was reading one of my old English Language books when I came across this: "Madame, Señora, Signora, etc, are foreign vocative expressions and they have no equivalent, in either ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Kipling's “If” explanation

I don't understand what Kipling means by "Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”". Could you please explain it to me?
0
votes
1answer
50 views

What's the better way to reply to the email [closed]

Is this the official email to log on to the website.? how should I reply to this what text can I add to YES which would be appropriate Thanks
1
vote
2answers
89 views

“inquisitive” vs. “inquiring” in AmE and BrE

Do these terms share the same level of laudatoriness/pejorativeness in both BrE and AmE? Or, does one typically have a more positive/negative connotation to it than the other from your side of the ...
-1
votes
1answer
40 views

Uses of “to scathe”

Would “We took down the foreyard and commenced to scathe it” make sense to a sailor?
3
votes
2answers
120 views

Brackets Vs Parenthesis

I came across this question on Meta Stackoverflow, where a discussion was going on in the comments about the terms brackets and parenthesis and the right usage of them. It seems there is a different ...
4
votes
1answer
70 views

Must cookies contain chocolate in BrE?

In British English, my friend informed me that my use of the word cookie was incorrect in referring to a baked item having no chocolate bits in it. Instead the appropriate term would have to be ...
6
votes
2answers
190 views

“shyer” or “shier”

My Longman dictionary states that the comparative of 'shy' is 'shyer'. However, at least two online dictionaries also give the form 'shier' as being acceptable: The Free Dictionary and ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Using quotation marks to describe technical terms

Consider: DNS has a similar feature, but instead of “Work,” “Home,” and “Fax,” it has special record types that indicate which IP address you want from the server. I'm British, but am ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Pluralisation of sports teams in British and American English [duplicate]

Why do British and American English differ in this respect: British Southampton are eyeing up a ready-made replacement for Luke Shaw American Southampton is eyeing up a ready-made ...
2
votes
5answers
303 views

How does “spanner” come to mean “a wrench”?

"Wrenching" refers to an injury in which some muscle is forcibly twisted. A wrench is a tool that applies a twisting force to something, so that seems consistent. "To span" means to bridge a gap. ...
4
votes
4answers
503 views

“Equal” versus “Equals” [duplicate]

I've seen variants of this question, but nothing explicitly like the one below: Three feet equals/equal a yard. Which is correct? Is there a definitive explanation? Please indicate BrE vs AmE ...
5
votes
1answer
589 views

How should I parse the name of the UK? [closed]

I've grown up in the UK and always considered that it is a United Kingdom of four countries: the three countries on the island of Great Britain and the country/province1 of Northern Ireland. ...