4
votes
2answers
136 views

Why (so) sure? vs How (so) sure?

I just answered a question on ELL.SE that made me (and the OP) wonder about something... Consider the following four question responses to these two statements: 1- "I know I'll marry young." ...
1
vote
4answers
541 views

Is “How do you … ?” a polite question to ask the right way to do things? [closed]

Sometimes I feel uncomfortable to say "How do you spell xxx ?". It sounds like asking his or her own way of spelling a word implicating that I am not necessarily expecting the correct answer. Is "How ...
6
votes
4answers
203 views

How do teachers ask to calculate expressions?

How do American/British primary school teachers ask their pupils to calculate an expression? E.g. What is 2+3 equal to? What is the value of 2+3? ... In particular, I'm interested whether the ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

Rules for rising and falling intonation in similar questions - what are they?

Consider these two questions: Would you mind saying a little bit more about that? and What do you mean by that? When they perform the same function, and I expect an answer to both, why ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

“You went there?” in English [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it OK to add a question mark to show inflection? Can we say in a conversation "You went there", and by stressing the statement, mean "Did you go?" I know one ...
5
votes
3answers
10k views

How can I answer the question “What is the word, bird?” [closed]

I'm often asked a question "What is the word, bird?" by a manager of mine. I'm not sure what does it mean but I think it means "What's your last status update?" and I answer like I do have to do 1, 2, ...
4
votes
2answers
8k views

Is it correct to ask “what's your father?” when you actually mean to ask about his job?

What's your father? Some said this question even exist in the visa-applying of USA, but I just couldn't understand it. Is it asking about somebody's father's job, his personality, or just what he ...