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

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3answers
312 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 ...
2
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3answers
268 views

how to handle EN US/UK differences [closed]

If you are from Great Britain, or other English speaking country (except US), or even most of European countries where you learn british-english and are working for an American company would you ...
2
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0answers
773 views

Whats' wrong with the following sentence? [closed]

One thing that despise me is when people cannot look me in eye. I believe that the statement is grammatically wrong since we are using passive voice in the sentence so it should be 'despises' ...
2
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1answer
74 views

“Having Too Much Feather in His Brain”--H.H. Asquith's Remark About Gen. Sir Ian Hamilton

Prior to Sir Ian Hamilton's appointment by Kitchener as Commander-in-Chief Dardanelles Campaign, P.M. H. H. Asquith said Hamilton 'has too much feather in his brain'. I think it's related to ...
2
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4answers
9k 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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3answers
1k 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 ...
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3answers
404 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Is British English Outdated in Technical Writing?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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3answers
3k views

Meaning of “at least Dick Turpin wore a mask”

I tried to sell my stuff and one of the guys asked me if I could bargain on the item and I said no. He replied with the message, At least Dick Turpin wore a mask. What does that mean?
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3answers
8k views

Synonyms / slang words in American English to express “I am very excited for something”? [closed]

In British English we can say "I am keen to do something with you". Also: "Would you like to go to a concert?" A: "I'm keen for that!". What are some equivalents in American English? Is it "I want to ...
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2answers
5k views

What does 'Not to order' mean?

I came across this line in one of Nina Bawden's works: I have only once written a book, not to order, exactly, but to please a particular audience; a girl of seven who was, as she put it, 'a ...
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4answers
5k views

“How be you” or “How are you”?

I have never heard the phrase "How be you?" until yesterday, and started arguing that this was incorrect and that the correct phrase is "How are you?". My friend's reply was "This is how it's taught ...
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3answers
364 views

Is there a word meaning “pertaining to diary writing”?

Is there a word meaning "pertaining to diary writing"? For example something like diaretical (obviously not a real word) or similar? Example usage: The text was written in a ["diaretical"] ...
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2answers
477 views

The use of “for” and “of”

Are for and of interchangeable in these circumstances? Is the meaning affected at all? He was the Minister for Education. He was the Minister of Education. The Institute of Medical ...
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3answers
6k views

What does “make it cross” mean?

I believe it's a British phrase. I found it in that website, as: Fiat's Panda can offer an affordable route into 4x4 ownership. You just have to make it Cross. If you happen to know more ...
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4answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
2k views

What kind of rain is “sprinkles”?

It appears that MSN Weather has chosen an amusing adjective (from my British point of view) for the weather today: I'm assuming the precipitation (sadly) won't contain any hundreds-and-thousands. ...
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4answers
315 views

What does this mean: “Avoid oral calcium, dairy products, shark cartilage & exercise during the medication.”

I found this behind a medicine. At first thought, the sentence looks like it suggests avoiding exercise during the medication. However, I remember reading somewhere that in US English, when there is a ...
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2answers
172 views

Centre of competence

I have seen this expression several times (Google search gives 67M answers), but it seems mostly used by French or Swiss institutions, while Wikipedia mentions centre of excellence or competency ...
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2answers
86 views

Heel of Italy in Wikipedia? [closed]

Who can describe it for me? what does mean Heel and relation to italy? the region situated on the "heel" of Italy.
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4answers
580 views

“I usually knock off at 6”

"I usually knock off at 6", i heard an english gentleman say that. Does it sound odd only to me? In fact, what I heard was "I usually masturbate at 6" Did some research: found a book (i'm guessing ...
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2answers
1k 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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5answers
3k views

Losing bottles and bottling out

ODO's definition for bottle includes the following: 2 [mass noun] British informal the courage or confidence needed to do something difficult or dangerous: I lost my bottle completely and ran ...
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1answer
899 views

“What am I meant to have”

I heard the following on 'The Office' in episode Downsize (#1.1): David Brent: I'm going to have to let you go first. Dawn: What? Why? David Brent: Why? Stealing. Thieving. Dawn: ...
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3answers
13k views

Pronunciation of “i” in the words like “direct”, “organization”, etc

I'm a nonnative speaker of English and I've always been unsure about the pronunciation of "i" inside words like direct, organization, etc. I was thinking that it's a matter of choice between American ...
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2answers
5k views

“Neither . . . nor” vs. “nor . . . neither”

In my native language we have a neither-nor-like structure which can be used either as: I neither like thing A and nor thing B. or as: I nor like thing A and neither thing B. Is it ...
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1answer
7k views

Speaking of insults: “sod off!” meaning and origin

I've thought it had to do with the love that dare not speak its name, to put it ever so coyly, but what does this phrase mean and connote? And what's the approximate American equivalent?
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2answers
3k views

How would you use rationale in a sentence?

How is rationale used in a sentence? Can it be used in place of logic?
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3answers
555 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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3answers
418 views

What is “Broken Britain”?

It's not a flattering term for Great Britain but due to its catchy alliteration it has not run out of steam among newspaper editors. Wikipedia says Broken Britain is a term which has been used ...
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2answers
118 views

How to better phrase “I'm Alec who enquired about…” [closed]

I'm writing an email to an angel investor I met recently. The context is: Hi John, Pleasure to briefly meet you at the ... event last Thursday. I'm Alec who enquired about the best way of ...
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3answers
1k views

Is “my place” correct and common in British English?

I was recently told that "my place", such as in "let's go to my place" is not commonly used in British English? Is that the case and what would you say instead?
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1answer
119 views

Which does ‘rising’ here mean, to stand up or to get angry?

Harry was sitting up on a bed in the hospital wing at school, surrounded by his visitors. Fudge, one of them, started to insult Harry. Did Mrs. Weasley want to prevent him from getting angry or from ...
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2answers
681 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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3answers
49 views

don't have VS haven't

I don't have a west country accent. I haven't a west country accent. So, Which one is correct and why?
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1answer
204 views

What is the difference between Anglia and England?

What is the difference between Anglia and England? When it's used. Some examples of modern usages: probably coincident, but Anglia in Polish language is England, there are regions called East ...
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1answer
741 views

British slang: larl

I've seen this word a couple of times in twitter and I've not gotten a clear definition. A friend of mine wrote a mock British text that went like this "al av ya mum ya larl cunt" so that might give ...
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4answers
169 views

Nouns as verbs, Brits and Yanks: ID cards

I find it interesting that not only do British and American English speakers both use the noun 'ID card' as a verb in the context of (trying to be in a position of) purchasing age-restricted items, ...
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3answers
3k views

Pronunciation of “banal” in British English?

How is "banal" properly pronounced in British English? I know three ways to pronunciate banal but I don't know how to write them here.
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2answers
3k views

In Britain the word 'normalcy' is ridiculed

Does anyone use 'normalcy'? It is ridiculed in Britain as an American affectation, especially since there is a time-honoured word which means exactly the same thing i.e 'normality'.
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4answers
306 views

In England, do people use “people” or “persons” more?

In England, do people use "people" or "persons" more? And do you use the phrase "Keep it on your person"?
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2answers
4k views

Use Schedule and Timetable together

The context is a course scheduling and the process in creating one: course scheduling. I have looked up, that schedule is typically used American English and timetable is typically used in British ...
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2answers
191 views

“Summoning something into life” vs. “summoning something to life”

What is the difference between the following? Summoning ... into life Summoning ... to life If it helps, I want to use the word idea in the place of dots so it's like: Summoning ...
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2answers
145 views

“..which did what lay in it…” from “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens

Ref: “A tale of two cities” by Charles Dickens. What does “..which did what lay in it…” mean in the following sentence? “As the bank passenger – with an arm drawn through the leathern strap, ...
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3answers
12k views

Is the phrase “getting on” commonly used in British English? What register would its use be in?

I've collected a new phrase from my watching of British television, getting on, as in "How's he getting on?" From various contexts, I think I've gotten the meaning down to "how's he doing?" Anyway, ...
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1answer
50 views

“Seductive” as an adjective for describing snake

I would really appreciate if some native English speaker help me in clearing my doubt. Recently, in one of Indian English newspaper the column writer wrote the following: "A scary sci-fi scenario. ...
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1answer
111 views

“They saw the bus to come to the station.” What is wrong with this sentence? [closed]

Please, correct (if it needs) this sentence: They saw the bus to come to the station. Should I use to here?
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2answers
103 views

Equivalent AmEnglish expression of BrEnglish slang term “cheeky”

I play an online game with a group of people, one of whom is UK-based. He was going out of town for several days, so he told us to "feel free to do a cheeky quest" without him. What does the word ...
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1answer
260 views

Should British r be spoken out in liaison?

For example, the r in "better" is not pronounced in British English. How about the "r" in "a better idea"?
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1answer
4k views

Difference between “ditch”, “trench” and “gutter” [closed]

I have been trying to understand the difference between the three, is this a usage difference between American English and British English? What is the difference?
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1answer
380 views

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde unknown ( Biblical?) Reference [closed]

Okay, so I am an avid reader, and have recently undertaken a challenge to read Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, along with Robert Louis Stevenson's other literature. Having recently completed Jekyll & ...