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

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2
votes
1answer
230 views

Present Perfect, American English and “since”

I'm wondering: I was always taught at school that when using "since", you always have to use Present Perfect (BrE), e.g. Since when have you played chess? But is Since when did you play ...
3
votes
4answers
105 views

Could “shingled” mean “pebbly”?

One of the definition of shingle is a mass of small rounded pebbles, especially on a seashore. You can say a shingle beach (more common usage in UK than US perhaps) Is it also correct ...
1
vote
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
279 views

Asking a “Do you have…” question without do-support

Is the following sentence correct English? Have you the address? The address in question is obvious to the person being asked. It's normal to ask such a question as "Do you have the address?" ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

is 'do we actually know where we are going any more' a question?

I'm confused as to if do we actually know where we are going any more is a question or not, because of the 'do' I think yes but when read it seems like a sentence.
3
votes
2answers
100 views

You're Coming On All-(blank), Coming Over All-(blank)

I'd like to know how widespread these statements are in the UK. In the movie 'In Bruges' Ralph Fiennes says to, a suddenly, soft-sounding Brendan Gleeson (employed as a hit-man by Fiennes): ...
2
votes
2answers
136 views

Can I use “will” as non-auxiliary verb?

I was in England and I heard that some people use word "will" as non auxiliary verb, in meaning "wish". Have I misheard? If it is true, in which cases can I use "will" as non auxiliary verb?
1
vote
4answers
633 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
109 views

Pronunciation problem [closed]

I am from India. I am very eager to learn English. So I am used to add some English words with my language. But My friends says that you are having problem with your pronunciation. I tried a lot of ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Shalln't vs. Shan't in British English

I am a British English speaker and often use "shall" and "shall not". When I contract "shall not", I pronounce it [ʃɑlnt] -- that is, the "l" sound remains. My question, therefore, is how do I spell ...
1
vote
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 ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

'Little' and 'small' in British vs American English

Is the preference for 'little' over 'small' one of the things that differentiates British from American English? I find expressions like "I'm only little" or "She's only little" in British children ...
4
votes
2answers
476 views

Meaning of Down to the?

What is the meaning of down to the? E.g. in this statement: In order to use this feature, the statements must be exactly the same - down to the number of spaces, tabs, capital/small letters. ...
0
votes
1answer
140 views

Can we use both British English and American English in the same article?

Can we use British English trends and American English trends (such as spelling, or turns of phrase) in different sentences in the one topic?
2
votes
3answers
309 views

There's a good fellow [Phrase]

I would like to learn more about the meaning of the phrase: There's a good fellow. All that I know is that it is used for praising or encouraging a child or an animal. Is it right?
4
votes
3answers
668 views

Is it possible to learn English by just listening and speaking (without knowing formal grammar rules) [closed]

My native language is Chinese. Most people in my country grow up without having been taught formal grammar. I am surprised to find foreigners being taught Chinese and learning grammar rules that even ...
3
votes
2answers
576 views

English subways have 'Cars', but English Surface Trains have 'Carriages'. Why the Difference?

I heard both terms used in an episode of 'Sherlock'. It seems like one term or the other should do for both surface and underground trains.
2
votes
0answers
59 views

What expressions/words are still used in Indian English that are no longer in British English? [duplicate]

I was traveling through India recently and noticed that many expressions that people used that I saw were somewhat older expressions, now disused in Standard English. Examples of these were: ...
1
vote
1answer
254 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
210 views

Question related to cover letter [closed]

I have a few queries regarding how to write a cover letter: "make a real contribution as member of your team." or "make a real contribution as A member of your team." "If I may be a further ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

“The idea of the X came from Y” vs “The idea of the X raised from Y”

I'm confiused a little bit in a correct usage of the word idea in sentences. Wich one of the following correct? The idea of the system design came from the knowledge acquired in literature review ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Origin of “old bag”?

What is the origin of the term old bag as a derogatory term for an older lady? In the UK it is exclusively used to describe females. There appears to be nothing intrinsically feminine about bags. ...
0
votes
3answers
174 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
197 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Plural/singular form for a company in American English? [duplicate]

Somewhere on the internet a guy claims that in American English it's proper to use the singular form for conjugating the predicate of group terms such as company, band, team etc. In British English, ...
0
votes
2answers
123 views

Is the use of a period within quotes, in a sentence, accepted?

In the article by Anthoney McCartney on Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/man-arrested-red-carpet-says-never-hit-pitt-172635914.html): Don't get offended at me. Don't get mad at me. And just to ...
7
votes
10answers
822 views

Alternative to “a bunch”?

About two years ago I watched some old Monty Python interviews. In one of them, Graham Chapman, a Brit, makes fun of Terry Gilliam (the only American) for his lack of vocabulary. He specifically cited ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Is there a single word for people/ consultants who partner with our health? [closed]

We made a card for hospitals which introduces the doctors to its patients. We named the card Meet Your Healers, but we need a new word to replace Healers now.
2
votes
1answer
582 views

What is the origin of “journal” to mean a mechanical shaft?

What is the origin of "journal" to mean a mechanical shaft? A more common modern use is in "journal bearing" which refers to the sliding surface between a rotating shaft and a hole it passes through ...
0
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
165 views

Conditional sentences - which is correct?

If I had bought insurance for the trip, I would have got a refund after I got sick and had to cancel. OR If I had bought insurance for the trip, I would have got a refund after I had got sick and ...
1
vote
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?
0
votes
3answers
917 views

Difference in meaning between “booking is amended” and “booking has been amended” [duplicate]

What is the difference in meaning between "booking is amended" and "booking has been amended"?
2
votes
1answer
33 views

“for X to debate Y” or “for X to debate with Y”

I posted the following on Facebook earlier today: For a moment, I thought that Newsnight had arranged for Zizek to debate Farage. only for a friend to reply "debate with, surely?". Is this ...
5
votes
3answers
404 views

What word describes a university class in both the UK and the US?

In the US words like class, subject, course are used to describe a university class, while in the UK, words like subject and course are used to describe the name of the whole university degree. ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Those who were or those who are? [closed]

I'm confused whether to use were or are on this... I detest liars, especially those who were/are making it up as a go-to-excuse. Thanks
10
votes
2answers
406 views

Is “kip” Chinese in origin?

While looking up the history of kip, I realized that the information about its origins is rather scant. The noun and verb to kip in BrEng is often said when a person wishes to take a short sleep or a ...
34
votes
4answers
10k views

“Maths” for “Mathematics”; where does the S come from?

So in US English we shorten mathematics to math, and in the UK they say maths. Where does the 'S' come from in the UK version? For some reason I had it in my head that this was just because it's ...
0
votes
2answers
208 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.
1
vote
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, ...
1
vote
2answers
439 views

Etymology of the words “narky” and “narked”

Anybody have any idea where the word "narky" comes from? I speak British English and I understand the word to mean irritated or bad-tempered. Similarly I've heard the phrase "narked off". ...
1
vote
3answers
895 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Kipling's “If” explanation

I don't understand what Kipling means by "Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”". Could you please explain it to me?
0
votes
1answer
105 views

What's the better way to reply to the email [closed]

Is this the official email to log on to the website.? how should I reply to this what text can I add to YES which would be appropriate Thanks
1
vote
2answers
501 views

“inquisitive” vs. “inquiring” in AmE and BrE

Do these terms share the same level of laudatoriness/pejorativeness in both BrE and AmE? Or, does one typically have a more positive/negative connotation to it than the other from your side of the ...
-1
votes
1answer
82 views

Uses of “to scathe”

Would “We took down the foreyard and commenced to scathe it” make sense to a sailor?
4
votes
2answers
713 views

Brackets Vs Parenthesis

I came across this question on Meta Stackoverflow, where a discussion was going on in the comments about the terms brackets and parenthesis and the right usage of them. It seems there is a different ...
5
votes
1answer
103 views

Must cookies contain chocolate in BrE?

In British English, my friend informed me that my use of the word cookie was incorrect in referring to a baked item having no chocolate bits in it. Instead the appropriate term would have to be ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

“shyer” or “shier”

My Longman dictionary states that the comparative of 'shy' is 'shyer'. However, at least two online dictionaries also give the form 'shier' as being acceptable: The Free Dictionary and ...
3
votes
1answer
210 views

Using quotation marks to describe technical terms

Consider: DNS has a similar feature, but instead of “Work,” “Home,” and “Fax,” it has special record types that indicate which IP address you want from the server. I'm British, but am ...