Questions about spoken English.

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4
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5answers
775 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
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
526 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
397 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
7k views

What is the formal way to say “a bit”?

What is the formal way to say a bit in an essay, for example, in the sentence beginning “It is a bit different from”? Is a little formal enough?
0
votes
3answers
513 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
4answers
535 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
658 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
115 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
623 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 "
0
votes
2answers
182 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
32k 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
147 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
24
votes
32answers
18k 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, ...
-1
votes
3answers
376 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
13k 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', ...
2
votes
1answer
537 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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
127 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
546 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
-1
votes
4answers
5k 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) ...
1
vote
4answers
2k 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
3answers
365 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
392 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
1k 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
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
451 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
918 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How are 24-hour (military) times read aloud?

I understand you read 2000 aloud as twenty hundred hours and 0000 as zero hours. How then do you read 0001 and 0010?
3
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
356 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
186 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
votes
0answers
302 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
votes
1answer
461 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 ...
-7
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
6answers
9k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
468 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
112 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
vote
2answers
1k 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: ...
0
votes
2answers
164 views

Usage of the article 'a' before bait in this particular instance

Is it acceptable to use the article 'a' before 'bait' in this sentence? Is there a difference in meaning here when you use 'a' or drop it? "You would not have sent it to me for no reason. It was a ...
0
votes
2answers
678 views

How can you encourage native speakers to correct mistakes non-native speakers make? [closed]

My English is pretty advanced, yet I still make mistakes (not many, but some). I am constantly talking to native speakers and always tell them to correct my mistakes. My problem is that in most ...
4
votes
1answer
12k views

Is it necessary to begin a new paragraph after a person speaks?

When I was in school, I was taught to always begin a new paragraph after a quotation or after a speaker concludes a segment of dialogue. However, in recent years, I have seen authors abandon this ...
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
3answers
10k 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?
1
vote
2answers
321 views

Does anybody use the elative degree in modern speech? [closed]

I read that English has the following degree of comparison: positive, comparative, superlative (with definite article) and elative (with indefinite article). I'm wondering, whether sentences like "it ...
0
votes
1answer
574 views

Is “be-gruntled” a word? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When does a word become a ‘word’? Someone in work asked about the welfare of my girlfriend, to which I replied "She's fine, a little be-gruntled but fine." People knew ...
2
votes
0answers
632 views

Appearance of “is is” in speech patterns [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “The thing is, is that…” Why do some people say “the reason is is that,” with “is” twice in a row? For the past few years I've been noticing a curious phenomenon. ...
3
votes
3answers
553 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 ...