Questions about spoken English.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

0
votes
0answers
16 views

“you” in spoken, quoted dialogue

My partner and I have been having a debate about the proper way of relating dialogue in spoken English. Our problem is as follows: It often happens in conversation that one wishes to relate a ...
1
vote
2answers
111 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
5k 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
118 views

Is it always necessary to be “finished with”?

Is it grammatically incorrect to say "done school" or "finished school"? For example, I am done school, or I am finished school. Must I always use the word with to be grammatically ...
0
votes
1answer
24 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
79 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
133 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
74 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?
0
votes
1answer
50 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
58 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
247 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, ...
1
vote
3answers
148 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
520 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
113 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
1k 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?
1
vote
2answers
46 views

a quarter past/to… OR quarter past/to [closed]

Shouldn't there be an article before quarter, when we speak about time? For I think, as quarter is a noun, it should go with the article, but I very often see sentences like “It's quarter to 9”. Is ...
2
votes
3answers
121 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
123 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?
0
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
175 views

Is the perfect aspect used differently in Indian English compared to AmEng and BrEng? [closed]

Some people in India speak English but there's differences. But to what extent does it differ in perfect tenses like present, past, future, etc. perfect? I choose to compare it with British English ...
18
votes
13answers
12k 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
204 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
67 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
94 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?
3
votes
4answers
5k 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', ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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
248 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
45 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
266 views

What happened to voiced velar fricative [ɣ] and velar approximant [ɰ] in English language?

The voiced velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in various spoken languages. Wikipedia says that it is not found in English today, but did exist in Old English.1 Why did this sound ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “I want you to do me” mean?

I read a conversation between two people. "I want you to do me on this table." What is the meaning of this sentence?
26
votes
12answers
3k views

Just how offensive are the terms “retarded” and “gay”?

My college-age son and his friends use the terms "retarded" and "gay" pretty much interchangeably to mean substandard, bad, lame (in the sense of ineffectual or weak) or just plain wrong. I've ...
2
votes
0answers
459 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. ...
7
votes
4answers
1k 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.
2
votes
10answers
24k 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?
3
votes
0answers
184 views

Distinguishing Australian, English, South African accents [closed]

I have attended courses in English over many years, and as most of my English teachers have an Algerian accent, I have always wondered about the question of accents. I can distinguish an American ...
1
vote
0answers
76 views

Is “church” one syllable or two? [duplicate]

I read like twenty years ago that the word "church" (clutch, hatch, match) is undoubtedly one syllable when written but that an argument can be made that it's two syllables -- CHUR-ch -- when spoken. ...
8
votes
1answer
565 views

What does “I have no shame when it comes to ignorance” mean? [closed]

Does it mean one chooses to be ignorant regardless of shame, or submit to shame while admitting ignorance? Interviewer: Tell me about your first felony arrest? Candidate: I have no shame when it ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

In Oral english, can we reply “I think so” to an interrogative sentence?

For instance, in Spoken English: Q: Has anyone seen my torch? A: I think so. / I don’t think so. Or it is better to reply with a yes or no, such as: Q: Has anyone seen my torch? A: Yeah, ...
2
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
238 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

already , southern pronunciation ≈ [ʰɑɾi] “oddy”

Cut to the chase pals Could anybody confirm the southern pronunciation of "already" as something like oddy ? if so, What's its phonetic transcription? is there any eye spelling for it? I've noticed ...
0
votes
0answers
113 views

Meaning of “well” in full and meaningful sentences

In everyday English, people use "well" in their speech very loosely. "Well, I don't know." "Well yeah!" "Oh well..." ...etc. I know "well" has different meanings and emotions attached to them, ...
1
vote
5answers
159 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is most North American speech rhotic?

Most North American speech is rhotic—why is that? Does it come from the early English settlers or perhaps from the Irish settlers?
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there rules of pronunciation for words in English? [closed]

I know that there is at least one language we can pronounce based on the word's form (Vietnamese) which means that once you know how to write it, you will also know how to pronounce it. But in ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

How can we distinguish “uptalk” from a real question?

uptalk or high rising terminals is an intonation pattern where declarative statements occur with yes/no question intonation. "It is used when the speaker is establishing common ground with the ...
1
vote
3answers
298 views

spoken exam/speaking exam

Here's the test: We hope you will be able to pass the __________ examination (speak). I'm confused with those two words: "spoken exam" and "speaking exam". I know they say "spoken English exam" and ...
0
votes
2answers
170 views

How do I respond politely to a salesperson? [closed]

When a sales assistant asks "Can I help you?", can I respond with "No, thanks" ? Or are there more common ways of responding, instead of using "No, thanks" ?
0
votes
2answers
86 views

“I would've been” or “I should've been”

When on a job interview and asked: Tell us more about yourself. How do I say something like: ...Well, I would've been a father but sadly my son died due to cord constriction... My son died ...