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

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1answer
1k views

“Drawing room” or “sitting room”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What’s a reception room / parlor / parlour / drawing room? Please consider the following room: The house is a late Victorian townhouse. The room (A) has a size of about ...
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1answer
8k views

“If I was to” vs. “If I were to” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? If I was to sum up my computer knowledge in one word, it would be “destitute”. If I were ...
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2answers
763 views

Is there a difference between British English phrases and American phrases? [closed]

My goal is to learn British English because I'm going to study there. I've found a good book about English phrases. However, the book is originally from the US. Is there a difference between ...
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1answer
2k views

Pronouns for collective nouns (British and American)

British and American English differ in the way they conjugate verbs for collective nouns: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=877. For example, an American would probably say "China is winning" ...
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1answer
1k views

“Is” with singular and plural nouns

I came across the sentence My biggest grievance is grammar mistakes. I'd be inclined to write it as My biggest grievance is with grammar mistakes. or Grammar mistakes are my biggest ...
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2answers
861 views

Difference between “engage” and “hire”

For example, "We decide to engage a lawyer for the case." "We decide to hire a lawyer for the case." Is engage used particularly in British English? Do speakers of American English use engage in ...
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1answer
47 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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1answer
185 views

Is the perfect aspect used differently in Indian English compared to AmEng and BrEng? [closed]

Some people in India speak English but there's differences. But to what extent does it differ in perfect tenses like present, past, future, etc. perfect? I choose to compare it with British English ...
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0answers
26 views

Hurray vs Hooray? [duplicate]

I've seen two different spellings of this word - which is correct: hurray, or hooray? As in: You haven't got any outstanding alerts to action — hurray! I'm interested specifically in ...
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3answers
674 views

How do you write the expression of disgust that sounds like “er”?

My daughter said to me this morning (the context is irrelevant): Er, it's all wet! The interjection I have written here as Er was synonymous with Yuck. Its wetness did not cause great happiness. ...
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5answers
1k views

What word to choose as the opposite of “self-aware”?

What word would describe the quality of not being self-aware? unselfaware unself-aware un-selfaware un-self-aware non-self-aware I am aware that it is allowed to have multiple hyphens in a word. ...
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2answers
20k 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?
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0answers
25 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, ...
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0answers
67 views

AE vs British English usage of hospital [duplicate]

We all know that Americans say: Sara is going to the hospital While in the UK, they would say (and Americans would never say): Sara is going to hospital I'm wondering what the history of ...
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0answers
24 views

Can I use the phrase “Can I get x please” and have it considered 'proper' english? [duplicate]

I seem to say it quite a lot without really realising it. I know of course, it should probably be something along the lines of "May I have" - But is "Can I get" really that wrong? Thanks
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1answer
1k views

What is the proper use of “right the way along”?

I've heard the idiom "right the way along" used many times in British literature and video, however, I'm slightly unclear as to what it means. It seems, at first glance, to be a British variant on ...
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2answers
792 views

When referring to computer coding, would the correct verb spelling (in British English) be “to program” or “to programme”?

I already know that there are different spellings in British and US English for "programme". Usually, I refer to a computer program with the US spelling as all programming is done in US English, so it ...
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3answers
273 views

Résumé as summary vs document describing work experience

Because "résumé" or "resume" as a noun is a false cognate with the French equivalent, I tend to avoid using "résumé" to mean "summary", and only reserve it to mean "that document people bring to ...
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0answers
315 views

Help sheet for determiners and prepositions [closed]

I'm trying to produce a simple help sheet for foriegn speakers on English determiners and prepositions. Specifically, a basic description of when to use each type of determiner, and then the list of ...
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1answer
116 views

Alternative names for a place of trade [closed]

I am wondering what alternative names or nicknames there are for a place of trade. I know of market but I am hoping for others.
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0answers
106 views

Correct use of “ise” vs “ize” at the end of words [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are the endings “-zation” and “-sation” interchangeable? I am writing some software code and the rule is that we use UK English in all comments. ...
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1answer
202 views

Grammatically correct answer to incorrect question [closed]

I'm just curious what is correct to say in this situation. Let's have a person A which can speak English but not very well (like me). Person A is going to ask me whether I work in company X. But he ...
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2answers
1k views

“Named for” vs. “named after”

As a Brit, I'm used to the phrase named after being used to say how something got its name. For example, in Wikipedia's List of eponymous roads in London, we read that Addison Road is named after the ...
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4answers
4k views

Born(e) (out?) of the desire

I'd be most grateful to anyone who could tell me which of the following is right xyz was born out of the desire to... xyz was born of the desire to... xyz was borne out of the desire to... xyz was ...
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4answers
2k views

Is it acceptable to use 'z' instead of 's' for plural form?

I am trying to find an appropriate name for my website but all domains are squattered. So now I think that I can call my site, say, not 'cats.com' by 'catz.com'. Isn't it too informal and 'leet' (or ...
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10answers
3k views

Speaking for the sake of saying something

Is there a word or phrase that describes the act of saying something for the sake of it?
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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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2answers
344 views

What is the word used to describe a forced choice

I am looking for a word to describe a certain situation where you must choose one option or the other, as in it's either me or her. For example: If you stay friends with her we can't be in a ...
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2answers
13k views

The difference between Cool and Cold [closed]

I am not a native speaker of the English language but have been living in United Kingdom for last couple of years. Once I was with my friend who was an Irish and I said "Its cold outside" and he ...
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3answers
277 views

Is British English Outdated in Technical Writing?

I learnt English as my second language right from my school level and for the British colonial history of my country, my education was mostly in British English. In fact, during my school years, ...
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2answers
2k views

Latin abbreviation to use in English to replace “as such” [closed]

I was wondering if I can use "et al." in order to say "as such" after a list of elements in a sentence given as example. If not: What can be the correct Latin abbreviation to use to replace "as ...
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2answers
5k views

“Records” or “record”?

I would like to know what the difference between records and record is. Which would be correct — John Allen's Records or John Allen's Record?
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2answers
184 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.
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4answers
324 views

Which mood is created with “everyone should visit”?

Which mood is created with the sentence, "Everyone should visit..." with the use of the auxiliary verb? I have decided already that it is not the imperative mood.
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2answers
181 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 ...
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1answer
92 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 ...
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1answer
232 views

Different ways of saying Aluminium [closed]

this is a very short question but me and a couple of friends have been discussing this for a little. Does anyone know why Americans and British people especially insists on saying "Aloominum" and ...
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4answers
627 views

Adjective to describe very abusive language or nature [closed]

I would like to know appropriate adjective(s) to describe a person's abusive language or nature used describe swearing at somebody. Edit: I want a more British and formal English. Something that can ...
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3answers
1k views

Which one is more British: “car hire” or “rent a car”?

I am wondering which one is more commonly used in the United Kingdom: car hire or rent a car?
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2answers
268 views

What's the difference between respected and respectable? [closed]

He is highly [respected/respectable] owing to his good manners and gratefulness. I know the difference but I can't decide which one to choose, either he is respected (the passive form)or he is ...
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2answers
343 views

what does the sentence “You wouldn't know a hospital corner if it bit you on the arse” mean?

The conversation goes something like this: Woman: I'll change the bed sheets. Man: No, I'll do it! Woman: I can make a bed! Man : You wouldn't know a hospital corner if it bit you ...
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3answers
165 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 ...
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2answers
286 views

Is the English-speaking Internet community moving towards Americanized spelling?

Some of my spelling checking software failed to recognize the American spelling of the words "organize" and "realize" when a British English dictionary is being used. Curious, I looked up the British ...
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2answers
195 views

“Mobile” vs. “cellphone” in AE

I already heard Americans use the term "mobile" for "cellphone" -- which I thought was chiefly BE -- and so I wish you could tell if such usage of "mobile" has any currency in GAE? Unless it might be ...
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1answer
568 views

To whom does “British” refer?

I've seen from sources claim that the word "British" can be used to refer to different things. Some say Great Britian, some the UK, and some even the UK including her overseas territories. Which of ...
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1answer
405 views

Is “be-gruntled” a word? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When does a word become a ‘word’? Someone in work asked about the welfare of my girlfriend, to which I replied "She's fine, a little be-gruntled but fine." People knew ...
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1answer
2k views

“your heart just shrank” vs. “your heart just shrunk” [closed]

If I say: Your heart just shrank two sizes too small. Is the verb shrank correct as is? Or should it be in participle form? Your heart just shrunk two sizes too small. Which one would be ...
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4answers
863 views

What's the Australian or British way to say 'Ticket collector'? [closed]

I know Indians say ticket collectors while in Australia people are confused with this phrase. Please let me know how you would say that.
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2answers
567 views

What does it mean to be “clipping an r”? Why is that a qualification for celebrities to be invited to the royal wedding?

The Washington Post (April 24) ran an article about the royal wedding under the title, “In London, the royal wedding haters have had enough.” I was interested in the expression, “the wedding ate the ...
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1answer
95 views

Does “hosting a dinner” mean it is paid for?

Does "hosting a dinner" (in the UK) mean it is paid for, or just that it is being organised on behalf of the attendees?