Questions about spoken English.

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7
votes
3answers
164 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, ...
1
vote
4answers
167 views

What is a word to describe the state of singularity? [closed]

When we have reached as far back into some history as we can theoretically go, like for instance in describing the precise theoretical moment when time began we have reached a singularity. Is there ...
0
votes
3answers
5k views

“Night” and “knight” in speech

In English as Germanic language K is ignored at the beginning of word in speech. Night and knight have to be pronounced similar. Then how to differentiate?
14
votes
7answers
14k views

How should one say times aloud in 24-hour notation?

A couple years ago, I switched all my personal clocks 24-hour notation. I live in the US, and 24-hour time is used very, very rarely. So, I haven't been able to listen to anyone say times aloud. ...
8
votes
2answers
212 views

Pronunciation problem with “park” and “walk”. Is there a name for this “phenomenon”?

Now and then, I struggle to say a pair of words such as "park and walk". It may come out as "park and wark" or "pork and walk". It occurs generally when the two words are close together in a ...
1
vote
2answers
190 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
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
464 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
102 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
53 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
163 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?
14
votes
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 ...
4
votes
5answers
456 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
203 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
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
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
votes
5answers
267 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
votes
3answers
187 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
259 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... ...
0
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
154 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
241 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
158 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 "
2
votes
1answer
171 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
114 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 ...
24
votes
32answers
10k 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, ...
0
votes
2answers
5k 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
91 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
-1
votes
3answers
175 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k 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', ...
4
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
9answers
19k views

Indirectly saying “I love you”

I want tell to someone "I love you", but not in that manner (indirectly but to get that idea). How can I do it in a modern way?
-1
votes
4answers
2k 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) ...
2
votes
5answers
16k views

Films/Series that are extremely good to understand (and that are not…)

Some time ago I asked "Why are movies so hard to understand (and what can you do about it)?" To my surprise even many native speakers answered that they had difficulties understanding some movies and ...
1
vote
2answers
405 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
82 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 ...
-3
votes
2answers
250 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 ...
3
votes
8answers
8k views

Would you say “quote/end quote”?

A girl said, quote, I want a lollipop, end quote, as she walked past the candy store. Would you say it like that out loud?
1
vote
4answers
547 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Answering your own question

I have been wondering if this particular speaking device had a specific name. My wife uses a speaking technique where, instead of just making a statement, she presents it in the form of a question, ...
0
votes
2answers
856 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
262 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
vote
1answer
482 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
18k views

What are the conventional words for characters (A-Z)?

I have just read the newest post of DOGHOUSEDIARIES, and I am wondering whether the words for characters are fixed in the USA or the UK, as I am not a native English speaker. For example: A as in ...
2
votes
5answers
3k views

What's a Denver accent sound like?

I'm trying to learn to imitate the accent of someone from a slummy area of Denver (for a roleplaying game). Info on different local accents is welcome; a sound bite would be especially useful. If you ...
2
votes
6answers
11k views

Which one is it? “Damn” or “damned”?

I know that commonly in America, they use "damn" or "damned" to describe things. Sometimes, more appropriately, it's even "darn" or "darned". For example, This damn/damned computer is too slow. ...
-1
votes
1answer
183 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
813 views

Intention of rising pitches

I have been wondering about the rising pitch used in almost every sentence, by especially young Americans. What is the purpose/intention of rising pitch except in questions? Is it friendly and ...
0
votes
1answer
932 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 ...