Tagged Questions

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

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0
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Second name or Surname in British English

I have recently been told by a Londoner that "second name" is the most common way of referring to one's surname. She explained that it arose from the fact that most people just use their first and ...
9
votes
8answers
15k views

“have” vs.“have got” in American and British English

I have looked through several questions and answers on EL&U, and often there is an indication that American English prefers "have" while British English prefers "have got". In addition, there are ...
3
votes
2answers
279 views

revise/revision (British)

In American English revision is used in the sense of redaction, but in British English it’s used in the sense of studying for exams. So what do British English speakers say when they want to talk ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

Why are you a plonker?

The idiom, plonk (something/someone) down means to slap something down; to plop something down to sit or lie down on something in a careless or noisy way to leave someone somewhere to do ...
1
vote
1answer
109 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
510 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
489 views

What happens when baker's, butcher's, etc. are in the plural?

If the singular it is: The baker's and the butcher's are closed on Sundays. Which one is the plural? Bakers and butchers are closed on Sundays. Bakers' and butchers' are closed on ...
1
vote
3answers
238 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 ...
-3
votes
2answers
695 views

Are there are more vowels in the American English than in British? [closed]

car, father, jarring ■ man, lad, mast A British guy would pronounce the vowel "a" equally in all these words. But an American would give one sound for the first three words, and the other ...
6
votes
2answers
192 views

What is the origin of using the word “our” preceding a first name when speaking directly to the person so named

In the BBC's Keeping Up Appearences, and Lark Rise to Candleford, "our Rose" and "our Laura" are used in both the third person and second person. The usage seems understandable as a third person ...
0
votes
1answer
759 views

Is it offensive to refer to someone as a bird? [closed]

Is it offensive to refer to someone as a bird? Is it similar to calling someone a chick in the US? What's the difference?
7
votes
6answers
3k views

Why does “go spare” mean “get angry”?

I don't know whether the phrase "go spare" is used in the US, but it is very common in the UK. e.g. You're an hour late. Mum's going spare upstairs! I would like to know where the phrase comes ...
7
votes
2answers
189 views

What does the enterprise to “feed the duck on Epsom Downs” mean?

There is the following sentence in the ending part of Jeffery Archer’s “The Forth Estate,” which I waded to after months. In the showdown of the media owner Dick Armstrong and Sir Paul Maitland, ...
0
votes
3answers
83 views

Is this correct for an email campaign subject? [duplicate]

Just wondering whether the following sentence is grammatically correct — I was always taught that you shouldn't have two ands within the same sentence. We are not able to come up with a better ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views

Adjective relating to Great Britain and Ireland

Is there an adjective meaning “from or pertaining to the British Isles” (or if you prefer “from Great Britain, Ireland or surrounding islands”, or “from the Atlantic Archipelago”, or whatever floats ...
1
vote
2answers
698 views

Banking meaning of “held”

While filling in a UK form I just encountered the following question: How many credit cards held? This was followed by a free-form text field. So they are either asking ‘how many credit cards ...
6
votes
1answer
702 views

Why can a bird be pulled but never caught?

In the UK there is a popular idiomatic saying: To pull a bird. "Bird" is a well known Brit expression for a young woman. In the USA, I think "chick" is more popular. The above expression means ...
4
votes
2answers
988 views

“22 Acacia Avenue” British idiom

What is the meaning of this British idiom? I was watching BBC's Top Gear and the presenters were cracking jokes about people who live in the 22 of the avenues. And that the people who live there like ...
3
votes
1answer
223 views

Meaning of the verb 'snort' in a sharp dialog

I could not figure out the meaning of the verb 'snort' implied in Sir Elton John's reply to Lily Allen during some award ceremony, after her disrespectful comment on his age. He said: I could ...
1
vote
3answers
19k views

What is the usual form of “Please do the needful”? [duplicate]

I was browsing the internet, and found that "Please do the needful" is not an appropriate sentence to use or write. According to this link, this sentence used to get used in South Asia. What would be ...
2
votes
2answers
159 views

Using “and” with numbers [duplicate]

I'm a computer programmer and I'm working about this problem. I must say that I'm not very familiar with British English and I'd like to know when the word and is used in the numbers. The perfect ...
1
vote
0answers
106 views

When could we use perfect tense? [closed]

Could you recommend me any grammar taskbook like Murphy with a lot of tasks and explanation of perfect tense? I haven't quite understood the meaning of the perfect tense and all cases when it should ...
6
votes
7answers
989 views

What could be the equivalent term in British or Australian English to the American English word “hillbilly”?

In Wikipedia, “hillbilly” is defined as: … a term referring to certain people who dwell in rural, mountainous areas of the United States, primarily Appalachia but also the Ozarks. Owing to its ...
3
votes
1answer
488 views

“Perhaps” or “Maybe”?

As a non-native speaker of English, I was once told in London by a learned British man that I should not use 'maybe' for 'perhaps' in the UK, as by doing so, I'd be following an American usage (so ...
1
vote
1answer
260 views

Are both ‘Hit a raw nerve’ and ‘Tip sb. the wink” predominantly British English idioms?

I was drawn to both of idioms,‘hit a raw nerve’ and ‘tip sb. the wink” being quoted as British skewed English idioms in the following scenes describing verbal exchanges between Captain Richard ...
3
votes
2answers
361 views

A summer house, a cottage or a cabin?

When I want to refer to a (rural) vacation home, what would be the most appropriate term in BrE? I know in American English cabin and camp are used for those, but what would correspond to those in ...
2
votes
1answer
418 views

How to form a gerund from “practise”?

I (think) I know the difference between practise (verb) and practice (non-verb). However, I am not sure which form I should use in cases like the following ones: I love practising the guitar. ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

Definition for a sentence used in thesis/dissertation cover pages [closed]

I was looking at some cover pages and see that most of them use the following sentence; A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF.... What does it really ...
-1
votes
1answer
334 views

Pronunciation of “Oceania” in British English

How is Oceania properly pronounced in British English? Is it /ˌəʊʃɪˈɑːnɪə/, or /ˌəʊʃɪˈɑːnə/? I know a lot of people who use the latter, but I have always been taught the former.
0
votes
1answer
536 views

Goodbye - is it very formal?

I'm writing about cultural differences - not for scientific purposes - and am trying to find out about more and less formal ways of saying goodbye in English. On a scale of formality (from least to ...
5
votes
9answers
3k views

What is “plaice” in the US? Would love a good fish and chips

When we went to the market, at the fisherman's counter we asked for plaice with which we would make fish and chips. Now here in the States when we ask for plaice, they don't understand what we mean. ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Meanings of word “nick” in British English

Word nick seems to be used to describe many things. According to the dictionary, the main meanings are: a small notch, groove, chip, or the like, cut into or existing in something. a hollow place ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

If I go to a Language School, do I go to school?

My friend, aged 21, has just started taking classes at a language school, and will shortly be doing 4 hours each weekday there. It feels very odd to be saying "How's school going?" – we finished ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

How to write out numbers in compliance with British usage?

This question regards the numbers from 1 to 999. We can ignore commas, hyphens, and spaces. What I'm interested in is when and where to use the word "and". There are a few interesting cases: 1) 20 ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

“Exercise” but not “exercize”

Many words are spelled with -ise in British English and -ize in American English: realise/realize sanitise/sanitize scrutinise/scrutinize But exercise can only be spelled with -ise, never with ...
1
vote
0answers
281 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
757 views

Why is there a difference in the adoption of “Kindergarten” in American and British English?

As someone living in the US, I've heard the term "Kindergarten" used quite frequently. However someone from the UK was mentioning to me that the term is really not used that much in British English. ...
5
votes
2answers
320 views

Are constructions like “That's me out, then” primarily British rather than American?

Prompted by comments to this question on English Learners (about "That's you done"), I've been searching Google Books for similar constructions of the general form that's [pro]noun adjective (for this ...
0
votes
1answer
273 views

How to say 100,500 [duplicate]

How do you say the number 100,500? Is it one hundred thousand five hundred? For some reason that doesn't sound write in my mind. The number 10,500 is ten thousand five hundred. Please correct me ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

What would be the British Equivalent Words to “Freshmen” “Sophomore”

I know that to describe which year you're in, with American English, people usually use words like: Freshmen - 1st year college/university student Sophomore - 2nd year Junior - 3rd year Senior - ...
-2
votes
2answers
723 views

Parenthesis and quotations having punctuation before AND after them [closed]

I'll have to come up with some examples to show you my question: I know if a sentence is inside either, the punctuation is inside (I also know I use a lot of comma splices. I think of the way the ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

English phonetics References [duplicate]

What are some great references on English pronunciation practices? The book The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations was mentioned in an answer on this site. Is it considered authoritative? What ...
0
votes
1answer
140 views

Is 'read' still synonymous with 'majored' in BrE? [closed]

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_American_and_British_English#university "She read biology at Cambridge." That doesn't mean 'she read a book or something about biology at Cambridge'?
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

Is this a polite way to ask questions? [closed]

I want to send questions to someone, I want to ask you if this way is polite and if there are better ways: I want to ask you questions, your answers would be appreciated I want to ask you ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

“courgettes” vs. “zucchini” under a historical perspective

In this TimLymington's answer it is said: Interestingly, there is another vegetable with the same identity problem; what the British call courgettes and the Americans zucchini. What is the ...
2
votes
3answers
207 views

What word describes the shape of a whirlwind when seen from above?

What word describes the shape of a whirlwind when seen from above? Swirl Whorl Radial The shape they make when seen from above resembles a radial pattern or even a whorl.
-1
votes
1answer
236 views

Interpretation of 'have' as stative or dynamic

Please bear with me. It's been a long time since I looked up grammatical concepts. The sentence is: I can quite clearly see the bewildered looks you will be having on your faces on reading this. ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

Does your name belong to you?

I'm having trouble deciding whether the word 'name' can be used possessively. Currently I'm thinking it's correct to say: Patients' names have been altered to provide anonymity However it just ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

“Normalise” or “normalize” (British English)?

Is normalise perhaps obsolete in British English, and normalize preferred instead? I have done some Googling, it seems British English dictionaries prefer normalize, but I haven't found any ...