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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11 views

What's a better line for 'not sharing knowledge is a crime and i am not a criminal ' [closed]

I want to write a description for activity regarding newspapers-article writing for my college application. I want to make it sound a little fun, quirky yet smart. I am bit confused for the starting (...
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6 views

Why does Bart Simpson frequently speak British sentences in the classic The Simpsons episodes? [migrated]

In many situations in the old The Simpsons episodes, Bart inexplicably speaks a sentence in British, out of the blue. For example: You mean it ain't me noggin', it's me peepers? (After his American ...
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1answer
60 views

re-explain or reinterpret? [closed]

I'm having a little confusion when typing these words to my customer. So we talk about things that I don't understand what they are saying/ what are their instructions? So, I kindly ask them to ...
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2answers
119 views

Using the word “minutes” when saying the time

I have a question regarding the word "minutes" used in the context of telling someone what time it is. Actually, I think there may be regional differences, and, therefore, I have not one but ...
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1answer
116 views

'off the stone' equivalent in AmE

I have been re-reading Jeffrey Archer's The Fourth Estate, and saw this sentence: ..he would cycle to the offices of the Courier and watch the first edition come off the stone, returning to school... ...
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1answer
17 views

can Where/Whereas be used interchangeably in the following examples?

"Whereas there were once as many as fifteen thousand divers on the island, there are now only about five thousand." "Where there were once as many as fifteen thousand divers on the ...
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32 views

“He will be a doctor” [closed]

Am I right, interpreting these sentences? He will be a doctor= Either he is a doctor now or he will become a doctor in future. He might be a doctor= Either he is a doctor now or will become a doctor ...
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6 views

GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT OR NOT? [migrated]

I forgot to write "to" in my test, but I am not sure if it's still okay. So can you help me please? The sentence I wrote: Families let their children play games. What I supposed to write: ...
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3answers
100 views

Is informated a word?

On Season 1 Ep 5 in the TV Show Good Omens, a US military soldier guarding a US base says: I was not informated on any surprise inspection sir. Clip of video here: https://streamable.com/l6acv6 Then ...
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33 views

What do Americans call a tubelight? [migrated]

A tubelight is a layman's term for a fluorescent tube lamp in South Asia. Will an American reader understand that this is what I am talking about if I state, "the store was lit by a single ...
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1answer
3k views

What is “musset”?

I came across the word "musset" in Gregory Maguire's Wicked-- Her green traveling gown with its inset panels of ochre musset suggested wealth, while the black shawl draping just so about ...
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1answer
106 views

How to pronounce the “bunched /r/” sound?

I don't live in English-speaking country. I try to learn English on my own. I am interested in aquisition the General American accent (GA). My question is about the American /r/ consonant ([ɹ]) and ...
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2answers
118 views

Let me know your availability [closed]

When someone suggests making a video call someday and you reply it is a good idea (even unsure he/she is just being polite) and he/she says let me know your availability, does he/she want to know the ...
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1answer
605 views

Meaning of “going north” idiom, in the context of poker

I'm wondering what is the meaning of "going north" ? Also really proud of shorting Vinny, he got caught 4 times going north... obnoxious, rude and wasn't thrown out and it was 25 dollars... ...
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1answer
67 views

Grants distribution but with pejorative connotation [closed]

Is there a bitter phrase that signals pejorative connotations when talking about grants distribution? Unfortunately, grants system is not perfect and can be abused by irresponsible people who suck-up ...
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19 views

Should it be 'equals' or 'equal'? [duplicate]

I was reading something and found this line. I just want to know whether the word 'equal' should be 'equals' or 'equal'? Which sentence is grammatical? At the time of settlement the cash value plus ...
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1answer
47 views

Can “drunk” be used as a noun? [closed]

I was reading Post Office and the very first sentence looked a little off to me "It was Christmas season and I learned from the drunk up the hill, who did the trick every Christmas, that they ...
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9answers
463 views

A better word than 'cathouse' for an outside shelter for 1 cat

Most of us who have gardens* and are fond of nature and animals have outside shelters for them... birdhouse dog house green house cat house? 'Cathouse' seems off to many Americans because of the ...
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1answer
34 views

Agreed Upon Between - Is It a Correct Phrase [closed]

Is "agreed upon between [two parties]" a correct way to say that there were two parties that agreed upon something (that is, there was an agreement between them)? "Agreed upon by" ...
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2answers
206 views

'Broagcast' - the /d/ sound in English

I am referring to American English here, but this could also be applied to British English for all I know. Is the "d" really just an alveolar "d" in words like: "hi(d)e my&...
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1answer
46 views

You may wanna set down the Milk Duds for this one [closed]

I know what "milk duds" are, but can't figure out what this phrase means. It is pronounced in Zombieland - Double Tap by Jesse Eisenberg's character when he describes "Zombie kill of ...
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1answer
617 views

What does “below the line” mean as applied to the title of “Professor”?

I saw this in a university website. A professor is "Below the Line" in his introduction on his bio page. Bruno Olshausen Below the Line, Professor It sounds negative...but I'm sure it ...
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1answer
28 views

“from the standpoint of” vs “in terms of”

I've been confused by the usage of "from the standpoint of" and "in terms of". Could anyone tell me if both of the following sentences are correct?  In terms of a high standard ...
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What happens to /v/ when it's immediately followed by /b/ in American English?

In phrases like "of books" "have been" and more what happens to that /v/ sound i tried listening online but I can't quite place how exactly it is made. Does it get devoiced or get ...
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1answer
43 views

Is drinking-jack another word for mug?

In "Tower of the Elephant", Robert E. Howard uses the word "drinking-jack" three times apparently meaning mug or something like that, judging by the context: Torchlight licked ...
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2answers
162 views

Rock a Hawk - a Phrase from a Movie [closed]

Must be one of those phrases that everyone knows but nobody explains. Encountered it in this sentence: "My girlfriend thinks I'm too old to rock a hawk." (from the movie called Wheelman) ...
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19 views

A SVG or An SVG [duplicate]

Which one is correct A SVG or An SVG? P.S. A/An SVG is a type if image file.
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41 views

When it comes to pre-ŋ raising of /ɪ/ to /i/ in California English, does this raising universally affect all the words containing -ing?

Like how king becomes /kiŋ/ and singing becomes /siŋiŋ/. But does this affect all words containing the -ing suffix? On top of my head, I can think of a word like building where I think this raising ...
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1answer
194 views

True realization of /i/ in American English: Is it really [ɪi]?

I have read in different places that the latter glide-like realization is the only one that exists in American English. Is this a regional thing? If yes, would you say it occurs in western US English? ...
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2answers
120 views

Origin of 'gin up'

I have been reading the Ken Follet 'Century' saga, and came across a usage I had not seen before. Supposedly in the words of an American... He had different governmental departments working together ...
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1answer
46 views

Are there any words or terms when 'a small daughter dancing with her dad with her feet on top of his'?

I'm writing my story and I had the idea to have both the characters to dance with one of them standing on the other's feet. But whenever I tried to search the word or term nothing showed up. The only ...
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1answer
53 views

What does the intonation pattern on “online” mean or imply? [closed]

What does the speaker mean or imply with the intonation on "online" at 0:31 around? A negative and doubtful query? Does the intonation pattern on "online" completely fall at the ...
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77 views

The pronunciation of “dr-” as “jr-” by some American English speakers [duplicate]

I've noticed that some Americans pronounce dr as jr , such as: draft → jraft Andrew → Anjrew Is this standard pronunciation?
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29 views

What is the intonation or pitch pattern of “parties” at 0:30?

I wonder what the intonation or pitch pattern of "parties" at 0:30 around is in the clip? Why does the stress seem to fall on the both syllables, "par" and "ties"? While ...
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43 views

Comma in “If in addition”

Consider the following example sentence: "If in addition he is happy, we are done." What is the correct place for the comma(s) for the phrase "If in addition"? I see two ...
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2answers
89 views

Why is the second t in “aptitude” aspirated?

As far as I've understood there are these following rules for aspirating a plosive consonant: When it's word initital When it's in a stressed syllable And it's not aspirated when: When preceeded by ...
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35 views

In the American dialects that have monophthongization of [eɪ] and [oʊ], what's the rule on when to use the diphthongs and when to use monophthongs?

Does it have something to do with closed and open syllables? Like sometimes I can hear /e/ and /o/ instead of their diphthong forms.
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39 views

What is the grammar on Your honor/My lord? [duplicate]

Your honor, My lord, Your highness, My lady all refer to another person. What are the rules behind that? The striked-out questions are answered by Why is it "your Majesty", but "my Lord&...
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3answers
53 views

take the bite out of something / someone [closed]

Question about the expression: "You should take the bite out of him by telling him...." meaning you should subdue him. Does anyone know the origin of this expression? I am especially ...
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1answer
35 views

Not everything is about you [closed]

What does it actually mean when people say "Not everything is about you." when they use it?
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24 views

can I use thing, thing, thing and/or thing in English [closed]

I want to convert ( thing and/or thing and/or thing and/or thing ) into ( thing, thing, thing and/or thing ) or not
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24 views

What does “play at writer” mean in this context in the The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck? [closed]

" Bukowski wrote back to the editor: “I have one of two choices—stay in the post office and go crazy . . . or stay out here and play at writer and starve. I have decided to starve.” " What ...
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1answer
605 views

Is modern 'five countries' English the only type of English with stress patterns that change across the entire word depending on the suffix?

The capital letters represent where the main stress in each word lies TELephone, telePHONic, teLEphony. PHOTograph, photoGRAphic, photOgraphy. biOLogy, bioLOGical. What about in the past, including ...
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69 views

What does the idiom 'It is noon in New York' mean in Chicago? [closed]

I do not have a context for the idiom. All I know it is from/related to Chicago. I did not find this idiom online.
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36 views

What does it mean to say “Someone won't know I'm there”?

In one of the video clips of SNL(https://is.gd/WVr1OQ), the man said the thing that drives his mom crazy is "when he sometimes wake up earlier than his mom, he gets out of their bed so that his ...
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1answer
39 views

Using article “a” [closed]

What is the correct sentence? I'm neither a man nor a god I'm neither man nor God I'm neither a man nor God I'm neither man nor a god
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29 views

the use of 'were' and 'was' when describing a situation [duplicate]

What is the correct use of 'were' and 'was' in an imaginary sentence such as: ''If I were to go biking I would be tired.'' How is this different from the sentences below: If I go biking I will be ...
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2answers
51 views

Is there an English word that describes mentioning something just for the sake of mentioning it but it's completely impractical?

Is there an English word that describes mentioning something just for the sake of mentioning it but it's completely impractical? Like let's say I say, "we should probably take a more holistic ...
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34 views

Do I need to put comma if I use “here” in the middle of a sentence?

Imagine, there is a sentence such as: The chair here can not be used. From this question, I get to know that this is a perfectly structured sentence. But should I use a comma before & after the ...
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35 views

Symbol indicating a value equal to or greater than a number

I am working on translation of numbers and came across this representation of "5 or greater" as "5+". My question is whether or not there is a term for the "+" sign that ...

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