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

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0
votes
1answer
78 views

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

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, ...
-3
votes
0answers
43 views

Does it make sense, when asked whether you're finished eating, to answer “Thank you”?

If someone asks you "Have you finished eating your dinner?" are you suppose to reply by saying "Thank you"? It doesn't make sense to say "Thank you," does it? What are you saying "Thank you" for?
-2
votes
1answer
60 views

What should EFL students learn? U.K. or U.S. English? [on hold]

Is there any concrete difference between U.K. and U.S. English? I have been using a mix of both for as long as I can remember. But I get a lot of questions from my students asking which one is better ...
-1
votes
1answer
41 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
votes
1answer
113 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!
0
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0answers
52 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
16 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
64 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
votes
1answer
26 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
votes
2answers
98 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
votes
2answers
71 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 ...
-1
votes
0answers
19 views

“The whole market doesn't know” versus “Not all of the market knows”

I've heard various examples of this in American speech (I'm British) and it always strikes me as incorrect. Statements like: "The whole market doesn't know..." I would phrase as: "Not all of the ...
0
votes
1answer
35 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
-1
votes
2answers
98 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
68 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
vote
1answer
61 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
42 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
88 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
111 views

From Livorno to Leghorn and back again

Can anyone tell me why the Ligurian 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
votes
2answers
86 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
79 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
votes
2answers
460 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
51 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? ...
3
votes
5answers
519 views

Expression for becoming homeless, which has the word 'street' in it? How about “pushed to the streets”?

If I lost all my money and became homeless, what standard expression can I use which has the word 'street'? Would it sound perfectly okay to a native English speaker if I said "I was pushed to the ...
7
votes
1answer
186 views

Is the pronunciation of “oa” in “broad” unique?

The "oa" in the word "broad" is pronounced like the words "or" or "awe". In phonetic symbols that is ɔː . However in all other examples I can think of it is pronounced like the "oe" in "toe". Or in ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Help with Plural Objects and Subjects

I know to use 'is' for singular and 'are' for plurals. I was recently listening to a song and it reminded me of a 'rule' a teacher once told me about. The chorus repeats: Line 1: BIG GIRLS CRY WHEN ...
2
votes
3answers
49 views

Referring to someone's country of ancestry in an informal way?

What is a good way to refer to a person's country of ancestry? Im going pretty much everywhere in Europe this year and in Australia we have so many Australians of European ancestry. For example a ...
4
votes
2answers
170 views

What does it mean when someone says “noted” to you? [closed]

I was talking to my friend about something I find disgusting and she replied, "Noted." I replied, "Noted what?" and she said, "All dat." I am a little confused about what she was trying to say? Is ...
32
votes
4answers
5k views

When did “More tea vicar?” start to be used after farting? Where did it come from?

In England when someone farts they might say "More tea vicar?" When did this start, and how did it come about? It feels unusual enough to have a definite creation - some comedian perhaps? Web ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

Ma'am: Is it as in “ham” solely for the Queen, whilst it remains spoken “ma”+“um” (less any glotal stop) for all others?

It's become conventional wisdom that, when addressing the Queen after introduction, one must be sure to address her as "ma'am" as if it were to rhyme with "ham". Only "ma'am" and "ham" don't rhyme. ...
5
votes
4answers
224 views

Is “crash into a bend” BrE and must there be a structure at the bend in order to use the phrase?

Includes 10 uses, showing it is far from a one-off phrase. Numbers 4 & 5 (bicycle) and 7, 8, 9, 10 ("everyday usage") are the uses I am most interested in. Question 1 If a vehicle ...
7
votes
4answers
174 views

We might have to do some “fiddling”

I like the word fiddle, and I quite like the musical instrument too. If you're fiddling with a device, it means you're trying to repair it. It might be tricky because of all the tiny bits and pieces ...
0
votes
3answers
55 views

`Good/correct English' for a 'pay back the effort' [closed]

I'm looking for a term/expression/word that is less plumb then Introducing the following concept is difficult but will pay back in the end.
1
vote
1answer
63 views

What is the correct pronunciation? [closed]

Today, I talked with my friend. And we both have different opinion to each other. The subject is Does British English (native) speaker pronunce the R letter at end of the word. You only think the ...
-1
votes
2answers
85 views

Why should one study English in India? [closed]

I'm a teacher teaching English in a village school.I need a concrete reason to continue to do so.I am looking for opinions,facts,references & even specific expertise.
1
vote
1answer
58 views

“In the cards”, “on the cards” origin(s)

In another question in EL&U "Positives changes on the cards" — meaning? , it came up that at least one of us AmE speakers had always heard this idiom as "in the cards" and never as "on ...
24
votes
17answers
3k views

A question asked in order to expose ignorance

I am looking for a particular word that describes: a question that is asked in order to expose ignorance/lack of knowledge. As with a rhetorical question, the questioner knows the answer, but ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

“Who has” or “Who have” when referring to a collection of people in a department [duplicate]

I have spoken with Education Unit who has requested a contract. I have spoken with Education Unit who have requested a contract. Which of the above is most acceptable in British English?
0
votes
3answers
104 views

In search for universal formal greetings [closed]

I am dealing with a system which is supposed to autoreply to certain emails. It cannot start with 'Dear (forename)' as it cannot parse a forename from email address or original email. It also cannot ...
-1
votes
1answer
85 views

Why is English used internationally? [closed]

Why is English so globally prevalent, including its pervasiveness on the web? Is this because Britishers ruled the world decades ago, thereby disseminating English to those respective regions?
6
votes
3answers
633 views

How do “you” pronounce eczema?

/ˈɛɡzɪmə/, /ˈɛksɪmə/, /ˈɛksmə/ As I no longer live in the UK I don't usually hear how eczema is pronounced, so I've always pronounced it as ig-zee-muh but recently my English boyfriend told me that ...
1
vote
3answers
97 views

Is it ok nowadays to say numbers instead of digits, while expressing a sum?

( example: 2345 - these four numbers make the sum..) or must I say digits?
2
votes
2answers
64 views

“on” or “at” when talking about flight dates

I originally had text on a web site that stated: Showing flight results for flights from LON to NYC leaving at 01/06/2015 and returning at 08/06/2015 One of the testers has said that this ...
2
votes
2answers
202 views

Is “offloading a passenger” idiomatic?

Merriam-Webster and Oxford seem to suggest that we can offload things, not people, yet "offloading a passenger" is quite prevalent in Philippine English. Is it a phrase that somebody from the inner ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Is there a contraction known as the're?

Recently, one of my relatives started studying the English Language and she came to discuss that the contraction of there are can also be written as the're because that's they way she learnt it at ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

How does 'rude' mean 'hearty'?

ODO: rude {adjective} = 4. {attributive} {chiefly British} Vigorous or hearty OED: Etymology: < Anglo-Norman rud, Anglo-Norman and Old French, Middle French rude, Old French (Lyons, rare) ...
2
votes
3answers
105 views

Can I say : “He was made broke”?

He doesn't have any money. He was made broke in 1999. Is it grammatically correct to use this structure?
1
vote
1answer
113 views

Which Mammoth came first: the animal or the description? [closed]

I thought to describe something in my writing as Mammoth, and that got me thinking: was the word originally used to describe the animal Mammoth, and adapted to describe anything that is colossally ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Slang word for transferring money from one card to another

Ok, so there is an Online Money Transfer Service. It allows for quick money transfer from one card to another. The advertisement of this service describes how it is convenient for parents to transfer ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

Set the table, or lay the table?

I have read that set is American and that lay is British. But I do not think it is nearly as simple as that. I grew up in rural England in the late 1940s/50s, and we always set the table. In fact ...