Questions about spoken English.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
1answer
226 views

had not vs did not - past perfect [closed]

I recently watched a YouTube tutorial which talks about right usage of past perfect tense. For negative sentences in past perfect, a simple rule to frame sentences is - Subject + hadn't + main verb ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Word's meaning in a particular (provided) context?

What does a girl say at 0:14 in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i31s8F0fkCw ? 1.He's got extra ???? Bits? Pits? Either one, what does it mean? If I'm not mistaken bits can be a reference ...
-1
votes
2answers
92 views

What one should reply to - “Can I talk to Jeremy?”

Situation I receive a call caller asked me;" Can I talk to Jeremy?" What is correct reply and What should I respond to this situation with. he has gone for lunch. he went for lunch. he ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Is the following singular/plural inconsistency common in informal speech?

I saw a white figure inside the house. A ghost? But my uncle had told me they didn't exist. Is this common in informal English? If not, what's the correct alternative?
0
votes
1answer
809 views

How to become more professional at spoken English? [closed]

I've a big problem - I can type good English but I can't speak good English. When I type text, I can think about what words to use, but when I need to speak, I can't recall them quickly enough and I ...
0
votes
5answers
1k views

I got survived or I survived [closed]

I got survived. vs. I survived. When I was talking with my friends I told them, "I got survived from that accident." Suddenly all of my friends laughed at me said, "dude, use proper ...
1
vote
6answers
8k 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 this one: 'It turns out' that we cannot... 'It turns out' that we ...
3
votes
1answer
191 views

Is it appropriate to say “I've never been” when referring to a place, omitting the adverb “there” from the phrase?

I have been hearing the phrase "I've never been" with increasing frequency lately when referring to places (i.e., "I'd like to go to the Apollo. I've never been" as opposed to "I've never been ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

Which speech impediments contain the phonemes affected by said impediments?

There are at least a few terms used to describe specific speech impediments which are themselves difficult for a person with said speech impediment to say. For example: Lisp: Frequently conceived ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

English word for superstitiously negative self assumption

Is there an English word (or psychological condition), which describes the negative, fearful, superstitious mentality of immediate self application or assumption? For example if I was to say "my ...
2
votes
1answer
147 views
1
vote
1answer
77 views

What is the practice of using elaborate introductions to one's idea called? [duplicate]

The following is an exaggerated example: Suppose that three people wanted to express their opinions of StackExchange: Person A: StackExchange is cool Person B: I think that StackExchange is ...
1
vote
1answer
269 views

This is true or That is true?

When someone says something that you agree with, should you say "that's true" or "this is true"? I have heard people say it both ways. My question is for both formal and informal usage.
3
votes
3answers
211 views

Swear words in common usage by educated people in 1916

What swear words might have been commonly used in conversation (and, in particular, oral argument) in and around 1916, by literate men? As sources from the time are largely written, it is difficult to ...
2
votes
1answer
398 views

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word read?

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word usually read out loud? For example, with "Anglo-Saxon", do we say: "It is spelt as ...
6
votes
5answers
11k 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', ...
1
vote
0answers
646 views

Is it right to say “How much do I owe you”?

When going to work today, I stopped to buy a bottle of water in a supermarket held by an anglophone from Nigeria. When it was time to ask him how much is the price of the bottle of water, as a good ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

should have instead of could have [closed]

I've heard this on a crime documentary. Two intruders break into a house, a confrontation ensues with the residents (wife and husband). The couple manages to disarm one man and fight off the other. ...
1
vote
2answers
91 views

Why did people sound differently when addressing the public in the early 1900s?

I notice that people used to speak not necessarily more clearly, or distinctly, but their voice had a certain 'choppiness' to it that you don't hear anymore... Unless the person doing the speaking is ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

Incorrect or just different grammar? [duplicate]

A friend of mine has noticed something I say differently to move people. Most would contract the sentence "we have not done" into "we haven't done". I turn it into "we've not done". This seems to be ...
3
votes
3answers
498 views

Should the abbreviation 'i.e.' be used in speech? [closed]

I often hear people use the abbreviation 'i.e.' while speaking. It does not seem right to me. Similarly with 'e.g.' — I would always say 'for example' rather than 'e.g.'. So is it appropriate to ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How many “monophthongs” are there in RP? Do all the varieties of spoken English in the UK have the same number?

A monophthong is a pure vowel sound. The monophthongs can be contrasted with diphthongs, where the vowel quality changes within the same syllable, and hiatus, where two vowels are next to each ...
8
votes
3answers
330 views

Use of “well” to signal a pseudo-awkward pause before an impending word repetition or pun

In an article titled “The Ice Age Cometh” (Fortune, May 25, 1998, reprinted in The Great Unraveling, 2003), Paul Krugman writes: Suppose that two tribes—the Clan of the Cave Bear and its neighbor, ...
2
votes
3answers
159 views

Why did common contractions become common?

Examples: Real life isn't like that, y'know. Y'all are awesome. I dunno why. Where'd you go? This is my theory: these phrases/sentences have been said so many times that people ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do some people say “the reason is is that,” with “is” twice in a row?

Does anybody have any conjectures as to why this quirk is so common? For an example, see this TED talk by Kevin Slavin.
1
vote
2answers
800 views

What is the difference between “here” and “over here”?

Sometimes people use "here/there" sometimes "over here/there" what is the difference?
6
votes
1answer
694 views

What does “Rabbit” mean on 1st of June

My english teacher told me, that is common in England to say "Rabbits" on the 1st of june. What does it mean? where does this tradition come from? Does the people say it only on the 1st of June? ...
5
votes
1answer
97 views

Writing and speaking duplicated words

A recent workplace conversation prompted this question. Red Hat, the software company behind a popular Linux distribution, came by the office and everyone got some random trinkets, including a number ...
2
votes
2answers
275 views

Non-standard British use of possessive “me”

Native North American speaker here. It's fairly common in certain British dialects to substitute "me" for "my" (Shiver me timbers) in informal speech. My impression is that some speakers mix the ...
4
votes
5answers
9k views

In which accent does Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) speak?

I don't know if Stack Exchange is the right place to ask this question but I am very keen to find out: Which accent has Brad Pitt adopted in the movie Inglourious Basterds for the role of Lieutenant ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

How can I express this in another way?

I want to express the following sentence in another way. The first algorithm was applied to obtain the norm solution by gradually decreasing the value of X. Can anyone give me some help? Thank ...
6
votes
2answers
426 views

Changing from 1st Person to 2nd Person in the same paragraph?

I want to know if it's okay to change from 1st person (our,we) to 2nd person (you, your) in the same paragraph as follows: TV need not dictate our lives. There is a choice. We can either submit ...
8
votes
1answer
397 views

Is there a phrase, word or saying when one 'has the thought or feeling of causing hurt of mischief" despite never dreaming of acting on it?

For example I was assisting my sister in photographing a wedding. We were taking pictures as the bride was getting ready and I noticed a ketchup bottle on the kitchen table and the following popped in ...
2
votes
2answers
900 views

What is the difference between “sip” and “drink” verbs? [closed]

Title says it all. What is the difference? As I understand - "to sip" means the same as "to drink" but slowly. Are there any other aspects for choosing between them?
1
vote
1answer
190 views

“Kinda figured it out ” vs “kinda figured out” [closed]

Example: Speaker A: Were you surprised about my confession? Speaker B: Not really. Kinda figured (it) out when you held my hand last night." Kinda figured it out has 180 hits on Google ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Is the following ungrammatical expression common in speech?

Don't be ashamed. It was cute, like a shy teenager. I'm not very sure if this is a grammatical mistake, but I think the correct version would look like this: Don't be ashamed. It was cute, ...
7
votes
2answers
657 views

Correct usage of SIC to express verbatim statements expressed vocally?

Taken literally, sic erat scriptum would imply that "[SIC]" is to be used only when expressing a written statement. Can it also be safely applied to express that which has been expressed vocally? i.e, ...
2
votes
3answers
378 views

Word for a sudden flow of ideas? Is 'brainwave' good enough?

Imagine you are thinking about a problem you need to solve, nothing's coming to mind, and all of a sudden you get a dozen different ideas at once. Is there a word that expresses this sudden flow of ...
4
votes
5answers
704 views

Expression for becoming homeless, which has the word 'street' in it? How about “pushed to the streets”?

If I lost all my money and became homeless, what standard expression can I use which has the word 'street'? Would it sound perfectly okay to a native English speaker if I said "I was pushed to the ...
4
votes
4answers
886 views

Is “Where do you sit?” correct for asking someone where their workspace is?

At work, if I had to ask someone where exactly they worked, as in where their workspace/cubicle is, what should I say? Is "where do you sit?" the usual thing to say? I'm from India and hear this ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Are the expressions “pissed” and “pissed off” inappropriate?

I've seen people go quiet when they hear one of them. I also remember hearing it bleeped on television. Are they inappropriate? To what extent? What audience could or should not hear it?
2
votes
3answers
188 views

Is this redundant phrasing a rhetorical device? Does it have a name?

I'm wondering if there's a name for this particular kind of redundant phrasing: So what I'm going to do right now is, I'm going to . . . or So what you want to do is, you want to . . . I ...
3
votes
1answer
346 views

Why do people say “Go down this road” or “Go down this corridor” instead of saying “Go straight” [closed]

I was wondering, when giving directions, is it correct to say "go straight" instead of "go down"? Does down and straight in the context of giving directions mean the same thing?
1
vote
1answer
191 views

Slang word for transferring money from one card to another

Ok, so there is an Online Money Transfer Service. It allows for quick money transfer from one card to another. The advertisement of this service describes how it is convenient for parents to transfer ...
20
votes
13answers
19k views

American vs. British English: meaning of “One hundred and fifty”

I've noticed that Americans do not say "and" when speaking numbers: for example, 150 would be pronounced "one hundred fifty". I and most other British-English speakers would pronounce it "one hundred ...
0
votes
2answers
311 views

I know “of” sounds like “ov”. Does “I've” sound like “If”?

I was studying connected speech and I read when we say for example I've finished my homework we pronounce the 've and f in finished as only one sound. Is it only in this case or whenever I ...
0
votes
1answer
111 views

Is “New begin” proper English?

This might be a pretty basic question. I'm writing a song. It's usually written as New beginning, but I thought that I might have heard people saying New begin. It would sound better in this case, ...
0
votes
1answer
188 views

what does “withhold no sacrifice” mean? [closed]

Reading Churchill's speech, I don't think I understand the following "withhold no sacrifice, grudge no toil, seek no sordid gain", what does this statement mean?
4
votes
1answer
7k views

“As for me” in the beginning of the sentence

Could I use "As for me" in the beginning of the sentence? For example, when somebody asks the whole group of people what was done, and one in that group answers what he did: "As for me, I did that ...
2
votes
1answer
437 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 ...