Questions about spoken English.

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17
votes
13answers
10k 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
175 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
0answers
15 views

How many hours of speech do kids hear before learning a language? [migrated]

Apologies if this is not the right forum for the question, but it's the best I could find. I'd like some estimates of how many hours of English speech kids typically are exposed to before reaching ...
0
votes
1answer
60 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, ...
-1
votes
0answers
67 views

Could you help me to give me a suitable English name? [closed]

everyone.I come from China. I found a good name is friendly for communication on the Internet. Could you help me a good English name? In our country, My first name is Wenhui, last name is Zhuang. ...
0
votes
1answer
60 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?
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Too or Also: which one puts more emphasis on the second sentence? [closed]

Which adverb is preferred to emphasize more the second sentence? I.e. She contacted him in the office but he didn’t answer the phone. Also, his mobile phone was silent. or His mobile phone was ...
3
votes
4answers
4k 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
81 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
210 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
6k 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
162 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
977 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?
24
votes
12answers
4k 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
419 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.
7
votes
2answers
140 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
10answers
22k 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
94 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
73 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
527 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
54 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
76 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
206 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
50 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
71 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
133 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
2k 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
50 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
111 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
139 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
81 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
104 views

Is it possible to think in English? [closed]

Someone who learned English, Is it possible to think in English this person? to be like mother tongue or like a baby born in America.
5
votes
11answers
2k views

Fun and enjoyable ways to practice pronunciation?

English is not my native language and I'm really proud of being able to write it quite well. I have lots of problems with pronunciation though. In Finnish most words are pronounced the same as they ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

How can I improve my pronunciation? [closed]

I've left high school and we don't study English at University and I feel that I haven't learnt to pronounce at all yet. What habits or routines can I do to speak better and fluent? Thank you so ...
15
votes
13answers
12k views

Why are movies so hard to understand (and what can you do about it)?

I have been learning English for many, many years now and think I have acquired quite some mastery. Yesterday I saw just another English (American) flick and thought it was a different language, but ...
0
votes
4answers
4k views

“Unconscious” versus “nonconscious” in everyday dialogue

These words have subtle distinctions in related research fields, but even there are often considered interchangeable or just an matter of tradition/trendiness in a particular field. Since I am a bit ...
-1
votes
2answers
106 views

How often do we use the “future perfect continuous” in everyday conversation? [closed]

Consider the following usage I will have eaten pizza by 5pm I will have been eating pizza How often do we use this type of grammatical structure? Honestly, I have never heard anyone using it ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Using word “hate” in American English

Having lived in the USA for several years I've noticed that Americans use the word "hate" a lot. What do they mean? Do they have hate emotion attached when they use this word? Or do they really mean ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

OF as a part of speech

What part of speech is the word "of" in the phrase "made of"? Trying to review the word "of" I the command :"Go and make disciples of all nations". Please help
3
votes
3answers
163 views

Momentary vs Temporary

Is there any difference? Which would be better to describe a requirement for 1 or 2 days. Suppose I need to inform my Operations team, that I need a particular requirement to be implemented but I want ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Present perfect continuous

I want to know about origin and duration and present perfect continuous change into past simple,by using origin and duration. For example, she started playing the trumpet two years ago. ...
3
votes
3answers
150 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

How to become more professional at spoken English?

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 ...
3
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
633 views

Is “neither I” grammatically correct?

I'm just trying to figure out if "neither I" is grammatically correct as a standalone statment (in spoken English).
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Adding an 's' to day [duplicate]

Should it be 30 day free trial or 30 days free trial? I believe it should be 30 day free trial but I can't find the grammar rule to back this up. I am trying to explain it to someone who is not a ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do some questions not start with an auxiliary verb?

When I learned English, my teachers told me that all questions must have an auxiliary verb at the beginning, just like Are you mad? or Is she playing? do. But when watching some movies or talking ...