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

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183 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 ...
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2answers
418 views

What is meant by “we got a live one” in following context?

Here is the clip from "Finding Nemo" where "live one" was used. http://youtu.be/zycSnw5PP0g?t=2m19s
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2answers
73 views

Why is the British tv show “the Undatables” not called “the Undatable” without 's'?

There is a tv series on Channel 4 called "The Undatables" which I have just started watching. The title keeps me wondering why it's not just called "the undatable" like the poor or the rich? Last ...
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3answers
180 views

Idiom for: managing to solve a big problem only to be frustrated by a smaller problem

What would be an idiom for solving a massive problem and then only getting hindered by a small problem? So after solving a hard problem, getting stopped by the easy problem. It would not be: out of ...
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1answer
761 views

What are the origins of using the abbreviation “v.” for “very”?

Looking to figure out where the abbreviation "v." originates from. I know "v." was heavily used in "Bridget Jones Diary," but that movie came out over a decade ago and was British. What are the ...
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1answer
62 views

“All the unemployed” vs “every unemployed”

The right to work implies the obligation on the part of the government to give a job to all the unemployed. Can I replace all the unemployed with every unemployed. If yes then OK, but if not then ...
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1answer
196 views

speech balloon vs speech bubble usage and meaning

I am from the UK, and am not familiar with the term "speech balloon". I have always used and heard "speech bubble" instead. Are the 2 meanings the same? Is there some kind of difference in ...
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231 views

Whats the past of present unreal conditonal?

What is the past of present unreal conditional ? I wish I were king ( how to make it past, is it - I wished I had been king ) What's the difference between the following two - "I wish it stopped ...
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3answers
2k 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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1answer
88 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 ...
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1answer
256 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 ...
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2answers
25k 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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387 views

To have a game in hand

I have come across the expression game in hand in an article on England Premier League, as follows: Third-place City has a game in hand but the surprise result against Sunderland, coupled with ...
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1k views

usage of the verb to bridge in “Bridging someone to something”

My friend suggested a tag line for our project: "Bridging you to your dream higher education online" and I have doubts that "bridging you to smth." is a proper word usage. I've never heard this ...
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2answers
3k views

Single vs double quotation marks for nickname?

I am trying to conform to the British practice (specifically Oxford Style Guide) and I am a little confused which to use to mark a nickname: Andrew 'Andy' Johnson Andrew "Andy" Johnson I know ...
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2answers
217 views

Etymological analysis of swearwords [closed]

I'm writing a thesis about the etymological analysis of swearwords (profanity) in the English language; that is, I need to compare British and American English regarding the etymology of their ...
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1answer
610 views

Pronunciation of words such as “hot” and “stop” [closed]

I would like to ask how to pronounce the o sound in words like hot, stop in AE and BE. I noticed that BE's pronunciation is different from AE's for these words. According to Cambridge University ...
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2answers
676 views

Talkies, Motion Pictures, Movies, Films and 3D

The term talkies, i.e. talking pictures, I was surprised to learn was not coined in 1927 after the release of The Jazz Singer, but in 1913. The term is now obsolete whereas motion picture, meaning ...
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3answers
2k views

Can you begin a sentence with an emotion?

Is it incorrect to begin a sentence with an emotion? For example: "Afraid and alone, he no longer wished to continue on." I'm translating some work from a foreign language into English, but I ...
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3answers
351 views

I need a word encompassing the meaning of free from something

Suppose I have a work to accomplish today, but I am not in the mood to finish it. I need the word to comprehend all these ideas. The sentence to be put in would be like "Request to free me from the ...
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1answer
123 views

Meaning of “Would you value the ethics of consequence over means?” [closed]

I've been reading a book for a while and I've stumbled on the following sentence, which I didn't quite understand: Would you value the ethics of consequence over means? The context is the ...
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1answer
281 views

em-dash and comma, which comes first

I am confused about the preferred way to combine an em-dash insertion with a comma occurring in the outer sentence. Until now, I had preferred to write: The erosion responsible for residuals is ...
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1answer
1k views

What do you call someone who doesn't know how to swim?

Is there one word for someone who does not know how to swim? Even better if there is one word for someone who doesn't know how to swim but dives to save a drowning person? If no, then suggest a ...
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1answer
195 views

Who translated “He's a muddled fool, full of lucid intervals.” [closed]

I have revised herein my question of Aug 18 and update my research based on the most helpful suggestions of Peter Schor and tchrist of Aug 18, 2013. I'm not a Cervantista and don't speak Spanish. ...
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1answer
120 views

“Has pushed” vs. “pushed”

I am reading many academic papers at the moment and am becoming more aware of the use of has, have, had in front of a verb, where it seems redundant. For example the following sentence: The ...
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1answer
257 views

Why do we say 'Tearing about' [closed]

Why do we say 'tearing about' meaning rushing around in a rather haphazard way. I can't find the expression in any dictionary or thesaurus and am not sure if I am spelling it correctly. Most ...
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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
806 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
896 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
43 views

Telling the time - Minute 01 to 09 [duplicate]

What would be the most frequent/common way of telling the time when the minute is between 01 and 09? Is there any difference between BE and AmE? 5:03 -> 1) five oh three 2) five three 3) three ...
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53 views

Answers for questions with “have to” and “have got to”?

Do we have to stay? a. Yes, we do. b. Yes, we have. c. Yes, we have to. Have we got to stay? a. Yes, we do. b. Yes, we have. c. Yes, we have to. I have to go home. a. Do you? b. Have you? ...
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1answer
48 views

What's “Blumenthal” as an adjective (UK)

I'm an American reading a series of humorous kitchen-gadget reviews in The Guardian, and the author describes a particular food dehydrator as something that "makes you feel just a little bit ...
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106 views

Rhotic accent in London or in the rest of the UK?

Good evening or good afternoon for the American. I read and it is known that most British accents are non-rhotic, but I’m now in London and I have the feeling that the Rs after vowels and before a ...
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112 views

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

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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1answer
55 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
193 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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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
961 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
2k 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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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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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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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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281 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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322 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
120 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
109 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. ...