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Questions tagged [american-english]

This tag is for questions related to the English language as used in the United States of America.

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Why do Americans not say "and" when saying particular years? [closed]

Why do Americans not say "and" when saying particular years? For example, here in the UK, for 2010, we'd say "two thousand and ten", but in the US, they would say "two ...
Ramona Green's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
49 views

Is a statement considered false or nonsense (invalid), if it consists of a verb applied to a false statement? [closed]

Consider the statement: [1] It's funny that Amy is jumping If Amy isn't jumping, is this sentence considered false or nonsense (invalid)? The following statement is clearly nonsense (invalid): [2] ...
Shuzheng's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
39 views

Quotation Marks on Names

American English - If I'm writing about dogs, "The Big One" became "Rowdy." Would I put the names in quotations or only the nickname?
Stacy L's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
66 views

To which object in a previous sentence does "those" refer?

For example, in the sentence: The cats rarely have fleas. Those that are there are orange. Those is intended to refer to the fleas, but is that incorrect? Can those only refer to the cats?
Mary's user avatar
  • 7
0 votes
0 answers
6 views

When can we omit the article in front of a countable word in singular? [migrated]

In the sentence below, there is no "the" in front of former President. I am wondering what is the grammar rule for that? Under Smith and his successor, Douglas, Canada sought closer trade ...
Julia's user avatar
  • 1
1 vote
1 answer
114 views

Is "bet" only used by vulgar people? [closed]

My cousin says "bet" is only used by vulgar people, and that "wager" is used by gentlemen. I disagree. We're talking about risking money on an outcome. I wonder if the fine people ...
Ciro Andrade's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
113 views

Why do some people pronounce "familiar" with an /ɚ/ in the first syllable?

In American English, the word familiar is normally pronounced as /fəˈmɪl.jɚ/. Recently, though, I've noticed more people pronouncing it as /fɚˈmɪl.jɚ/ ("fermiliar"), an alternate ...
alphabet's user avatar
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-1 votes
3 answers
72 views

synonym for "wondrous" or "awesome" but with a negative connotation?

I want a word similar to the vibes of awesome as it was used pre-contemporary times (e.g. "a terrible and awesome power"). It will be used as a contrast to the word "wondrous." Any ...
ledzephlin's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
79 views

What’s the meaning of the "floating sheds"?

Boats rocked in the floating sheds of the yacht harbor. Does "floating shed" refer to the cabin of the yacht?
Soroush Gh's user avatar
19 votes
7 answers
3k views

"Wish in one hand, tacky in the other. See which fills up first". What's the meaning of "tacky" here?

I am reading a contemporary American novel. In a dialogue, one of the characters quotes a proverb her mother used to say: "Wish in one hand, tacky in the other. See which fills up first". I ...
Cicc's user avatar
  • 615
0 votes
1 answer
93 views

English Translation from the german word "IT Systemhaus"

I am new to this site. I hope I am on the right one, as it looks like it has more than just one for English. What I am looking for is the correct translation of the German term "IT-Systemhaus.&...
djdomi's user avatar
  • 103
4 votes
1 answer
91 views

Are there any other out-loud-slashers here?

Native speaker (American English): I say "slash" out loud sometimes in place of "and" or "or," and an example sentence that is natural in my idiolect is "When slash ...
Sophie's user avatar
  • 212
4 votes
1 answer
157 views

dialect/idiolect quirk? "for whom" instead of "whose"

I'm a native (American English) speaker and I've noticed that this is a weird feature of my idiolect. Here is a direct quote: To the person for whom I spilled apple cider, if you're watching this, I'...
Sophie's user avatar
  • 212
0 votes
0 answers
50 views

American English: intervocalic rhotic lost after an alveolar flap/tap

Is there a phonological process by which a word such as federal is informally pronounced bisyllabically as /ˈfɛɾəl/?
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,509
1 vote
2 answers
78 views

What's a word for feeling or being invisible (maybe in person or socially) but obviously or physically there

I'm not good at describing stuff, so I'm sorry. But is there a word that means something like feeling socially invisible yet you're not really? Like being invisible to other people despite being ...
Kira's user avatar
  • 11
3 votes
2 answers
305 views

why are people revealing secrets spilling the tea instead of the beans lately? [duplicate]

Has "spilling the beans" become stodgy and needs a voguish replacement? I am seeing "spilling the tea" everywhere.
S K's user avatar
  • 1
6 votes
3 answers
778 views

Correct Choice of First Vowel in Words Such as "Regret" and "Return"

Is it acceptable in formal American English to pronounce the first vowel in regret, realize, and return with /ɛ/ as in DRESS¹, as opposed to with /i/ as in FLEECE²? DRESS /ɛ/: the open-mid front ...
Hannah's user avatar
  • 61
1 vote
2 answers
64 views

How to ask someone to reveal a secret

What’s the expression we tell someone when they’re hiding something and we want to know what is it? I was thinking “Drop it” or “Hush” but I realized it was something different.
Sara Rafri's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
978 views

Can American ‘bought’ sometimes sound like ‘bop’?

In American English, I’ve noticed that the word bought sometimes sounds like bop when followed by a word starting with a bilabial consonant, such as [p], [b], or [m]. For example, She bought me a car ...
AehkGuu's user avatar
  • 315
5 votes
1 answer
135 views

Other way to pronounce they'd

Is there another way to pronounce the word "they'd"? In this video (2:23), I think he pronounces it as "/ðed/ instead of /ðeɪd/. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXQQ94rg9ic Thank ...
Viet Hoang's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
172 views

American 'n' sound is sometimes retroflex?

In American English fast speech, I observed that the 'n' sound in certain words containing -rn- consonant clusters such as 'learning' and 'burning' appear to be pronounced as a voiced retroflex nasal [...
AehkGuu's user avatar
  • 315
5 votes
1 answer
147 views

what happened to the BrE ɒ vowel {got /ɡɒt/ (British English)) in American English?

it seems to have split into ɑː father /ˈfɑːðə(r)/ and ɔː saw /sɔː/ has the Cot-caught merger in American English obscured the original rules by which the split occurred? EDIT: this is not just a ...
S K's user avatar
  • 1
3 votes
5 answers
984 views

Why is "that" in the relative clause not a complementizer?

English is a very beautiful and systematic language. English is not my mother tongue. I have been interested in deep grammar for some time and I am confused. Example: The girl that I love. They say ...
Kadir's user avatar
  • 55
10 votes
6 answers
2k views

Idiomatic phrase for "review passed once you did the following"

I'm currently working on a review checklist of a technical document in the context of regulatory compliance (medical devices if that matters) which will serve as a record of the review activities. A ...
AlexV's user avatar
  • 203
0 votes
0 answers
49 views

A word(s) describing a person with control/power over an important aspect of others lives. They abuse that power to harm others and personal gain [duplicate]

I am in need of a word(s) or term(s)for a person who willingly, openly, and unapologetically abuses the power or influence they have over other peoples lives,more precisely; people who have control or ...
Andrew Wilson's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
111 views

Two expressions in Smedley Butler's speech "You've got to get mad" from the 1930s

I have a question about two expressions used by Butler in the following speech. Here's the paragraph in which they show up to give you some context: We are divided, in America, into two classes: The ...
RickVonSloneker's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
76 views

Is it correct to use the number sign # on the header of a table in scientific papers in formal written American English to replace "number of"?

Is it correct to use the hashtag/pound sign/number sign # on table headers in scientific papers written in American English to replace the words "number of"? For example: Let's say we have a ...
goahead97's user avatar
  • 101
1 vote
0 answers
24 views

18-byte block and 2-rounds structure: when to use plural? [duplicate]

I just wrote in the crypto stackexchange group something like: This is a cipher with 18-byte block and 2-rounds structure. This seems inconsistent to my own eyes/ears of non-native English speaker. ...
fgrieu's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Pronunciation of word-initial syllabic R in American English

E.g., what is the right pronunciation of the word earn -- [ɹ̩n] (syllabic R) or [ʔəɹn] (glottal stop + schwa + R)? EDIT: Is the word-initial (or more precisely "utterance-initial") syllabic ...
Jiri Vaclavik's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
227 views

Origin of “best-in-class”

This snippet was taken from the Stack Overflow Blog, featured 29 February, 2024 Defining socially responsible AI: How we select partners […] Together with Stack's strong developer community and ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
  • 91.8k
1 vote
2 answers
116 views

Do any words rhyme with ‘doll’ in American English? [closed]

Since doll–dole merged in British English but not in American English, what are other examples of words that rhyme with doll in American English? https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Rhymes:English/%C9%92l ...
iopq's user avatar
  • 131
0 votes
2 answers
82 views

What is meant by "How much don't you like him?"

If I say "How much do you like him?", I'm asking about the degree to which someone is liking someone else (a male). However, if I say "How much don't you like him?", I'm confused. ...
Shuzheng's user avatar
  • 141
0 votes
1 answer
53 views

Should I use until or before in this sentence? [duplicate]

Don't hire that guy before you check his references. Don't hire that guy until you check his references.
Guest001's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
58 views

How to pronounce chapter 1?

It seems like the "1" in "Chapter 1" is an ordinal number, while people always pronounce it as "chapter one" instead of "chatper first", how come?
Devin Johw's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
75 views

FLAP T has two versions?

everyone, my question is about the flap T. I'm not a native American English speaker, but I hear the difference between flap t in pretty (some natives pronounce it like the Spanish R, some like a soft ...
Plazma's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
39 views

American 'd' sound is sometimes retroflex? [duplicate]

In fast-paced American English speech, I've observed that the 'd' sound in certain words containing -rd- consonant clusters such as 'hurdle' and 'border' seems to be pronounced as a voiced retroflex ...
AehkGuu's user avatar
  • 315
4 votes
2 answers
253 views

UK vs USA grammar, past tense usage of "were stood" and "found…stood" that jars my American mind

One of my favorite authors uses past tenses in the following manner: Other than Camden and Luke’s cousin Alex, who were stood outside the main doors talking, no one was in sight. An American would ...
dlbruce's user avatar
  • 41
0 votes
1 answer
250 views

Current prevalence of idiom "pulling for you"

A prior question asks about the origin of the phrase "pulling for you," a phrase that conveys well-wishes and support (Merriam-Webster): US, informal : to say or show that one hopes (...
TaliesinMerlin's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
69 views

Extend by/for - Correct Usage [closed]

Do the below sentences convey the same meaning? If this petition is approved, you can extend your legal status by (additional/up to) 2 years. If this petition is approved, you can extend your legal ...
user493261's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
53 views

"On" the campus or "In" the campus? What's the grammatically correct way to say this? [duplicate]

This college has multiple campuses: Houston campus, Austin campus, and Dallas campus. Which sentence is grammatically correct and the proper way to say in English language (American English ...
user493261's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
71 views

Difference between Travel vs migrate

I would like to ask what is the difference between travel and migrate?. I have read definitions of both and they seem to me similar (are they?) from what i have read migrate and travel both can be ...
englishlearning2024's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
49 views

Are which+ noun and whose nouns are acceptable in English free relatives? [closed]

I am curious if the following two sentences are acceptable in English. a. He read which books she read. b. I am sure that my dad will pay for whose cars I damage.
gp365's user avatar
  • 3
6 votes
3 answers
545 views

Who uses "uni" for "university"?

I think much has been clarified by the many interesting comments this post has received. In Edit 5 below, I've tried to summarize what I think I've learned and what questions are still outstanding. I'...
Dave's user avatar
  • 151
0 votes
0 answers
64 views

Came/come/coming from (background)

I’m specifically asking in the context of describing background here. Are these all grammatically correct (especially #3)? I come from nothing I came from nothing I am coming from nothing If so, do ...
Hyejoon Kwon's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
273 views

What is the city equivalent of 'hillbilly hell"?

As you may have already known, and for those of you who don't know, hillbilly hell is a term used to mock the countryside in the USA, with all of its perceived flaws (insular, racist, decaying ...). ...
Carl Warren's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
666 views

Why is 'women' sometimes pronounced as 'woman'?

Some American speakers pronounce both 'woman' and 'women' as 'woman' (ˈwʊm.ən). Is this a recent pronunciation change? Where, why, and when did it originate? I specified the American accent because ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
30 views

How do I write out the month and year in which an event occurred within a web article (or any publication for that matter)? [duplicate]

I'm aware the answer to this question may differ across writing styles, but within a web article, should I write "In June of 2020, X occurred" or "In June 2020, X occurred"? I can'...
Riley 's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
0 answers
143 views

Origin of the expression “turn the card” meaning to pass on an opportunity

I recently dropped the phrase “turn the card” meaning to pass on an opportunity in an answer of a sister site. While not a common expression, I would have expected most people that I converse with in ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 1,754
2 votes
0 answers
110 views

Why are "all together" and "altogether" exact homophones in American English?

This question was inspired by the interesting discussion here: Why isn't the T in "relative" flapped? It seems like the adverb already and the two-word phrase all ready should be ...
Quack E. Duck's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
165 views

The use of 'law offices' to refer to a single office

In the United States, lawyers often name their businesses The Law Offices of So-and-so, in the plural, even when they are solo practitioners, working out of what would be regarded as just a single ...
jsw29's user avatar
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