Questions about spoken English.

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2answers
66 views

The difference between present continuous and present perfect continuous

Let's consider next case : You come to the office in Saturday, for example, and see that somebody finished some actions and now is sitting on your workplace (you didn't expect to meet anyone), but ...
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1answer
34 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 ...
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0answers
43 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 ...
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1answer
28 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.
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3answers
104 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 ...
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2answers
53 views

About the usage of stress on the word can and could

A: "I can go there." B: "I could go there." In these sentences, when spoken, how is the meaning altered by putting stress/emphasis on the words "can" and "could"?
2
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1answer
271 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 ...
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1answer
56 views

Simpler english by pronunciation

I'm into computer science. My question is more relevant to making computers "understand" english. However, I would like to make english simpler, even for/by pronunciation. It may sound... ...
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5answers
7k 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', ...
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0answers
72 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 ...
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1answer
49 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. ...
0
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2answers
48 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 ...
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1answer
68 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 ...
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0answers
48 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 ...
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3answers
410 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
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1answer
1k 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
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3answers
275 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, ...
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3answers
102 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 ...
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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.
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2answers
101 views

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

Sometimes people use "here/there" sometimes "over here/there" what is the difference?
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1answer
162 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? ...
4
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1answer
70 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 ...
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2answers
132 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 ...
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5answers
7k 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 ...
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1answer
33 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 ...
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2answers
134 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 ...
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1answer
222 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 ...
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2answers
113 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?
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1answer
77 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
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1answer
66 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
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2answers
331 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, ...
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3answers
189 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
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5answers
565 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 ...
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4answers
212 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
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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?
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2answers
78 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
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3answers
135 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
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1answer
165 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
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1answer
96 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
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1answer
188 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 ...
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13answers
14k 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
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2answers
225 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
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1answer
78 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
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1answer
115 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
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1answer
2k 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
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1answer
291 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
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1answer
8k 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 ...
6
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2answers
321 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 ...
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2answers
5k 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?
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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 ...