Questions about spoken English.

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2answers
151 views

Pronunciation of the word 'infantry'

I didn't have any doubts about this word, because as I could see it is pronounced in both British and American variants as [ˈinfəntrē] - as it written - and I heard it in modern military usage ...
5
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4answers
843 views

How is the sentence “The symbol % is used to represent percent” read?

I have three sentences in my math textbook that use the symbol %. The symbol % is used to represent percent. Usually denoted by the symbol %. Most calculators have a key with the % symbol ...
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4answers
61 views

Using “mentioned above” when speaking

Is it valid to say "mentioned above" when one reference to something one have previously said? Context example (transcript from The Law of One): Questioner: George Van Tassel built a machine in ...
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1answer
65 views

Asking questions without subject-verb inversion — a new trend?

I don't know what it is called but I have seen people using the sentence which is the answer of some question as question itself. For example: You are going to play tennis? (this isn't much ...
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5answers
71 views

How can I describe a passive type of touching?

If I touch an item (like a book) intentionally, I might say I touch the book. Now, if this had happened without my being aware of it, I would not say that I touched it, but I also would not say ...
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1answer
27 views

how to tell if you fall down your head will *** the floor?

how to say in the below scenario... if you fall down in the floor, your head will _ _ _ _ _ _ in the floor. the blank should talk about the crashing of head with the floor. What is the correct ...
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0answers
21 views

How to say that I hit a car (by accident) [migrated]

How does one say that one was in an accident with one’ car? I am not sure if any of the following phrases are correct. Please tell me if the spoken forms below are correct, or if there are any ...
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1answer
69 views

How to speak English fluently? [closed]

I have studied English grammar for a long time. And the problem is now that I do not read and speak English very well. I'm really worried about that! How can I learn to speak fluently?
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4answers
3k views

Equivalent for “née” in spoken English

Née is a word borrowed from French that means "born as" and is used to denote someone's former name, such as the maiden name of a married woman. It is usually seen as a parenthetical aside: "Jane ...
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2answers
96 views

What's another way to say “which station should I get off?” [closed]

In the context of "Which station should I get off?" (asked when you're on the train), what would be another way to say this, without using "get off" (which has other connotations) and still colloquial ...
3
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3answers
69 views

A single word for a building located in the centre of fork (intersection)?

So there is this kind of building located in the centre of a fork in the road (maybe in streets too). I don't know how to put it into words, but it looks like this: Or this: Is there a single ...
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5answers
261 views

Reported to Direct speech conversion

This is one of the questions in an exam. According to the official answer key, correct answer is (B). But I found that the most correct answer could be (A). Can any one please point out the right ...
14
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5answers
1k views

What is the best way of conveying respect to elders in English? [duplicate]

In Afrikaans, it is considered very disrespectful to use "you" ( "jy") when referring to someone who is above the level of a peer. Instead, it is expected that you use "u", which is a very respectful ...
2
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5answers
196 views

Alternative expressions to 'you have to trust me'' [closed]

In novels, movies etc. especially when someone asks or tells to do something rather risky, new etc. they say 'you have to trust me' which sounds a bit dramatic to me. What alternatives for this ...
3
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3answers
76 views

Stylistic / rhetorical device used by Obama over and over

After reading some of his speeches, I see one rhetorical device used over and over by Obama, some examples for it include: large or small wealthy or poor able or disabled gay or straight young or ...
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3answers
163 views

Is there a more eloquent way to say this? [closed]

I'm writing a Salutatorian speech, and would like to say something to the effect "I'm up here and I don't know why." However, I don't know how to say it without offending anybody or seeming rude... ...
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4answers
103 views

What's the appropriate response to the “door knock” when you are in a fitting room? [closed]

I'm an international student and I have had this question for a long time: When I'm trying on clothes in a store fitting room, the store employee sometimes knocks on the door to see if the fitting ...
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2answers
82 views

Swearwords and their strength degree [closed]

"J*rk", "f*ggot", "*sshole", "b*stard", "idiot", "stupid"... All these words are offensive. "B*tch", "wh*re", "c*nt", "sl*t" and others are offensive words for girls as well. However, as in most of ...
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1answer
51 views

Use of the word 'relishing'

Recently when talking to a friend about the lack of elevators in Asia he told me. You should be relishing stairs As a native English speaker the use of the word 'relishing' here sounded strange ...
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2answers
84 views

difference between “be free” and “get free”?

What is the difference between the two? And if I want to meet a friend what would I say "I'll be free soon " or "I'll get free soon "
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2answers
87 views

When in connected speech do we read 'r' after the end of a sentence or a passage?

For example in policy debates, in continuous reading or for example an interruptive briefing - there is a dot (.) It was summer. A strange shade was moving. Before the turning of the street there ...
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2answers
440 views

When should we say 'Thanks' and when, 'Thank you'? [closed]

While I'm communicating with my colleagues and clients, I used to say 'Thanks' and 'Thank you'. I normally use 'Thank you' when I want to express it to a single person usually through e-mails, ...
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1answer
51 views

Meaning Of “Wrapped Around My Finger” and “See Ya When I See Ya” [closed]

Will you help me to understand the meaning of these phrases? Wrapped around my finger and See ya when I see ya
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32answers
7k views

Alternative ways to say “I cannot answer that question”? [closed]

I'm getting bored of repeating the same "I can't answer that" phrase over and over. I'm trying other phrases, like "I'll leave that to your imagination," but that one sounds too weird. Specifically, ...
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3answers
134 views

Children caught by an adult doing something wrong, relaying the blame onto each other

Here's the basic situation: two fairly young children, boy and girl, caught by an adult after doing something really wrong (i.e., for example, breaking some sort of precious vase or something like ...
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3answers
303 views

Difference between would and will

Thank you for your time reading this. I am from China and have learned British English for years from my middle school to undergraduate time. I normally take 'would' as the past form of 'will', ...
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1answer
111 views

Is there a word that means English-Language-Centric?

There was an argument about how someone spelled "Revolution" and they said "No, I did not write it incorrectly. I used the Spanish version: 'Revuloción' without the accented o to make my life a little ...
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2answers
153 views

Differences between “very” and “very much” as adjective modifiers

The following examples are clearly wrong: × I am very much tired × She is very much clever But the following sounds fine (at least according to OALD): I am very much afraid that ... I am ...
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1answer
59 views

Is it good to begin my response with “Good One”? [closed]

I am planning to respond a comment in one of the other forums in StackExchange! I was wondering if I can begin my response by saying "Good one, .." to confirm that it was a "Good suggestion". In ...
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2answers
154 views

“Can I” vs “May I” [duplicate]

You may have heard the argument "it's not can I go to the bathroom, it's may I." If this is true, then any question such as "can you get me a glass of water?" could have the same argument applied to ...
0
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1answer
52 views

Variation(?) on Antanaclasis

US President Obama in his recent annual State of the Union address to the Congress: In the year since I asked this Congress to raise the minimum wage, five states have passed laws to raise ...
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4answers
721 views

“Talking to someone is nice.” or “It is nice to talk to someone.” but “It was nice, talking to you.” Why?

General statement: a. Talking to someone is nice. (verb as subject in front position = gerund) or b. It is nice to talk to someone. (verb as subject after dummy subject 'it' = full infinitive) ...
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4answers
216 views

How would you name/define “huh…” or “hum…” or “hm…” in a sentence?

Sorry for the convoluted question but I'm not sure how to ask this. These examples should make it clear what I'm talking about: "Well, hum... you know." "It's, huh... there!" "Hm... now where were ...
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2answers
142 views

Is there a term for speaking English with a foreign accent to make it easier for foreigners to understand?

I was just recalling Joey Barton's interview with the French media in which he speaks with a French accent, seemingly to make it easier for his audience to understand. As humourous as it may be, is ...
3
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1answer
106 views

Should the first word after a dash used as self-interruption be capitalized?

When writing dialogue, a dash can be used to denote interruption. For example: “Hello, can I ask you about—” “No.” If a character is interrupting themself, should the first word of the ...
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2answers
826 views

Which are the most common Latin words/phrases used in spoken English? [closed]

Please, specify American/British Engilsh! I think these below are very common but I have no idea if they are commonly used in spoken English. ad hoc per se a priori de facto ergo et cetera vice ...
3
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2answers
923 views

Is there a standard for speaking “1500” as “one thousand five hundred” versus “fifteen hundred”?

I was asked by a French colleague, and had no clear answer, whether it's more correct to say "One thousand five hundred" or "fifteen hundred" when speaking the number 1500. Putting aside how we say ...
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1answer
198 views

I need live conversation [closed]

Where (what Internet site) can I get a good, continuous conversation in real time from? I need some sort of resource where I have the possibility of just sitting there listening to the conversations ...
1
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1answer
356 views

Punctuation of reported speech within direct speech

I've got a fiction 'speech within speech' situation, and I'd like opinions on how to handle the internal final punctuation -- inside or outside the quotes. This is British English. Example: The ...
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4answers
1k views

Is it “good English” or “correct English” or something else?

Is it appropriate to say “I speak good English” or “I speak correct English”? I believe there can be varied replies depending on context, so let me narrow it a little; let’s say I want to convey how ...
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1answer
146 views

Which use of the English language is correct? “A historic event” or “an historic event” [duplicate]

English is my second language, and I was taught that you use "a" before a vowel. Recently I have heard several TV Announcers use the letters "an" if it is used before a consonant. For example, it ...
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1answer
589 views

Ending a declarative statement with a question mark? [duplicate]

Recently, there was a debate as to when one can legitimately end a declarative statement with a question mark, like writing “I don’t know?” as an answer, and what that could possibly mean. The ...
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2answers
121 views

Is this worded correctly if it was spoken in an interview? [closed]

Is this worded correctly if it was spoken in an interview? I am like a clean slate. I do not have any preconceived notions about how the company runs
4
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0answers
168 views

Is the usage of latinisms perceived as common in the English language or does it sound like bragging in ordinary speech? [closed]

My question here is about perception. English has a great and wonderful variety in its vocabulary, and many concepts can be associated with different words, although with slightly different meanings ...
3
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1answer
182 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 ...
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1answer
439 views

Do people with a lisp write in the same way they pronounce?

Just curious to know whether people having a lisp (speech defect) write in the same way as they pronounce the word. For example they pronounce s as /θ/ and z as /θ/. So, do they write 's' as 'th' like ...
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6answers
1k views

Polite/professional alternative to 'It turns out'

I have been tasked with coming up with a nicer phrase to use than 'It turns out'. It is to be used in situations like the below: 'It turns out' that we cannot... 'It turns out' that we ...
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2answers
169 views

Is the phrase “breed of men” weird or just different?

Forgive me for asking two questions in a single post, but I think it would make more sense to post them together. So please indulge me. Sentence: He is not unique. We should be able to discover such ...
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1answer
68 views

Using 'show' with 'treatment'

Is it proper to say 'show special treatment' for example in "He showed him special treatment."? I know it sounds more natural to say, "He took a special interest in him because of his background." ...
1
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2answers
301 views

Usage of 'on the brink of'

(Talking about a chimp): "In human age, he would have been on the brink of puberty." I was told that this sentence is odd because 'be on the brink of' is usually used for something negative: ...