9
votes
9answers
4k views

What do you mean when you ask “How are you?”

I have been asked one simple question many times by Americans: "How are you?". I know this does not mean that the person I am talking to wants to know how I feel, but sometimes I see that they repeat ...
2
votes
4answers
877 views

Can “your reputation precedes you” be used as a negative statement?

I have always considered "your reputation precedes you" as a gesture of complement and respect. However it occurred to me if it is possible to use it for a notorious person with a bad reputation? ...
10
votes
5answers
45k views

“Thank you very much” vs. “Thank you so much”

Some people used to say: Thank you very much. Where others say: Thank you so much. Could anybody please explain what differences there may be between those, whether of correctness or ...
6
votes
2answers
14k views

Is “I'm screwed” a rude expression?

Is "I'm screwed" a rude expression, or can it be used when someone tries to say they made a mistake? I overheard it from someone who seemed to have failed at his task.
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Should I use “the wife” or “my wife”?

I am not sure whether the best form when speaking of my spouse in everyday English is the wife or my wife. I commonly read the wife (or the girlfriend) in reference to the author's significant other, ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

How rude is “to eat like a pig”?

How rude is it to say : People eat crabs like a pig. Maybe it's not rude in plural sense like the above example but when you talk directly to someone? Also other terms which relate humans to ...
13
votes
4answers
961 views

What are exchanges like “How are you,” “I'm fine,” and “See you later” called?

Some verbal/written exchanges convey almost no meaning but are part of the protocol of conversation. For example, somebody greets you with "How are you?" and they're not usually not listening for ...
5
votes
6answers
8k views

“Good night” or “good evening”?

If it's 7:30pm, which of these phrases is correct, Good night or Good evening?