3
votes
2answers
114 views

Upside down vs downside up

Typically when something is reversed or inverted we say it is "upside down", could we also say that it is also "downside up"? For example... "The picture is upside down" could we also say it ...
22
votes
13answers
4k views

What's it called? A kind of impoliteness

A person (e.g. your brother-in-law) who enters your house without being invited, opens your fridge without asking, etc. Not just "impolite" of course, something more specific and informal
3
votes
3answers
322 views

Which word(s) can be used to express causal relation in modern English? [closed]

I will skip it over, because nobody will have doubt on this. Since nobody will have doubt on this, I will skip it over. I will skip it over, for nobody will have doubt on this. An ...
0
votes
1answer
219 views

Is “to split up” or “to break up” colloquial?

Are "to split up" and "to break up" colloquial if I want to say that somebody ended a relationship? If they are colloquial, could you give me non-colloquial synonyms except "to end" a relationship?
-2
votes
1answer
343 views

“There were only 4” versus “There was only 4”?

I used the sentence "there was only 4 channels on tele" (reminiscing about the good old days before digital TV!), but I wasn't sure if I was right, so tried were instead of was. It still doesn't ...
0
votes
1answer
421 views

What should I say to people when I am passing them by?

I am talking about situations when you want to greet someone, without stopping to talk to them. In Russian, people usually say "добрый день" which means "hello." This is a greeting, not a valediction. ...
7
votes
13answers
4k views

What do you call a USB flash disk?

I assume usually you don’t say USB flash disk, right? By the way, in Chinese we call it something more like U Disk.
1
vote
2answers
925 views

Is “a lot of” used generally in English, or is it colloquial?

I find a lot of people in Holland think 'a lot of' is too colloquial for use in academic work. Is that the case?
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Burn up or burn down?

What's the difference between "burn up" and "burn down"? Or is there a difference at all?
1
vote
6answers
1k views

Colloquial expression for “compliment” that carries negative feeling

What is the colloquial/casual/conversational form of the word "compliment" in this context: A: I hate John. B: Why? He's like a genius. A: Exactly! He's such a teacher's pet. He's always ...
2
votes
7answers
740 views

Is using “an idea” instead of “a good idea” good English?

In colloquial German, you can say something to the effect of Would it be an idea to move the bike shed a bit to the left? and it is immediately understood that "an idea" is supposed to mean "a ...
3
votes
2answers
274 views

Is “you've coming from” a colloquialism?

In the Take That song, Never Forget, the lyrics run "Never forget where you've coming from". Was that a mistake, or is it a colloquialism (or something else) to say "you've" instead of "you're" in ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

“What's going on?” vs. “What's happening?”

Is there a semantic difference between What's going on? and What's happening?. Can they be used interchangeably?
15
votes
3answers
16k views

Why is “guinea pig” used as the colloquial term for test subjects?

Why do we refer to people as guinea pigs when discussing the subjects of an informal experiment? Surely mice, rabbits and rats are much more common experimental subjects. Indeed, it's rare that you'll ...