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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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0answers
10 views

Pick them up or pick up them? [closed]

I can't figure out with these two but pick them up it's more likely to be correct
3
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3answers
664 views

Bain't = be not

Please read the passage taken from "A Few Crusted Characters" by Thomas Hardy: According to Wiktionary, "bain't" is the contracted form of "be not" and it is a British dialect. Therefore, the ...
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0answers
31 views

I don't get how native English speakers can understand what the woman in the video is saying [migrated]

as a non-native English speaker who is studying English, I have a serious question. Please check out a 3 sec of movie clip below. https://youtu.be/5FOv4WWGSK8 The subtitle says "(daughter:)What ...
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3answers
24k views

Set the table, or lay the table?

I have read that set is American and that lay is British. But I do not think it is nearly as simple as that. I grew up in rural England in the late 1940s/50s, and we always set the table. In fact ...
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19 views

'I kept sleeping or "I kept asleep" [migrated]

'I kept sleeping or "I kept asleep". I asked my friends and i am little confused. I have gotten different opinions.Some said first is right and some said second. May i know which one is ...
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0answers
27 views

What does ” You got the shoes that I like” implies? [closed]

Recently, there’s a video quite popular. A boy called Megatron in a movie town “Daddy” jokingly. So Megatron said" You got the shoes that I like" Does it really mean that Megatron likes the ...
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1answer
477 views

How to pronounce [ɹɾɚ] in American English?

I'm having issues pronouncing barter, order, harder, smarter using General American pronunciation. I can pronounce the individual sounds as well as combinations ɾɚ as in better and ɹɚ as in bearer but ...
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2answers
60 views

Are comma splices more common in British English or American English?

To me it seems that they are more common in British English than in American English (and I say that as a Brit). From what I have noticed, American politicians' writing tends to have fewer comma ...
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2answers
74 views

What does it mean if someone says "I'm good on something"?

In the movie "Vacation Friends", One person tries to give another one an edible moss. But that person (receiver) says "Nah, I'm good on tree pubes." It's obvious what the moss ...
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0answers
30 views

What's the word for something that's not measured but is also important [closed]

Something that doesn't show up in OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) or KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) but just as important. I'm thinking something related to soft skills but can't seem to pin it.
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2answers
19 views

What is the difference between "on-track" and "on track"

I'm trying my best since this is for a college application essay: What is the difference between "on-track" and "on track" and which one should I use? Here is the sentence I'm ...
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0answers
37 views

What does "even me out" mean?

There is a song in english called Butterfly effect, from Koven. At some point she says "even me, even me out". I believe the sentence here is "even me out". Here is the part of the ...
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0answers
30 views

Is a report used to report, or does a report report? Active vs passive

PASSIVE VOICE - The Random Name Report (RANAR) is used to report the randomness and effectiveness of names. vs. ACTIVE VOICE - The Random Name Report (RANAR) reports the randomness and effectiveness ...
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2answers
6k views

What does "Don't patronize me" means

I heard these lines in several places - Don't patronize me . what does this exactly mean? Checked the definition on google. But I couldn't get a feel for it.
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0answers
51 views

How would the queen of England say the f word? [closed]

I am looking for a very posh way of cussing after a failed task. Like dropping a hot cup of coffee or tripping on a tree branch. But it has got to be very polite, posh, and high-mannered. The closest ...
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1answer
50 views

Can I say "Whatever You did do"? [closed]

I am trying to write an English song and "It does not matter what you did do" perfectly fits the rhyme scheme while "...what You have done" does not. Can I say the first? Does it ...
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1answer
4k views

What is the history of "shoot" to suggest "go ahead"?

I was watching a movie with my wife, whose first (and main) language is French. On character asked another something along the lines of "Can I ask you a question?". She replied "Shoot." That was ...
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1answer
193 views

When did the California Vowel Shift begin?

When did the California Vowel Shift begin: as soon as California was settled by English speakers? Or did it develop later?
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1answer
33 views

What does "make no expressed" means? [closed]

I've seen this sentence in the books publisher note. The authors and publisher have taken care in the preparation of this book, but make no expressed or implied warranty of any kind and assume no ...
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0answers
37 views

Can simple present tense express future meaning with "Either" and "Whether"

"Either I accompany you or stay here". "Either you come with us or stay at home" These sentences are expressing "Choices" or "Ultimatum/Threat " with future ...
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0answers
7 views

Break off or its alternative [migrated]

Let's assume we have a group of people and they're moving away from each other making the place less and less crowded. Can I say they're breaking off? Or what is the word for this context?
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3answers
1k views

American equivalent of "Flabbergasted"

I love to use the word "flabbergasted" when writing, but I realize I cannot really use it when it's an American talking, as the word is primarily used by British people. I know there's words like "...
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4answers
411 views

Does the word “episode” apply to each individual broadcast of a TV program, no matter what the content each time?

Our studio has a one-hour TV program which runs three times a week and broadcasts different films. The content of the program is usually like the following, so can we call each broadcast an episode of ...
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0answers
28 views

correct preposition to use with "affiliation" in a sentence

Is the use of "WITH" in the following sentence grammatically correct and meaningful: " He helped the poor people of his country through his affiliation with UNICEF " Please help, ...
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0answers
47 views

I found physics quite interesting <to study> [migrated]

I am wondering if I omit "to study" from the following sentence, will it harm the sentence structure or will it make the sentence incorrect: " I found physics interesting to study &...
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0answers
16 views

Plural "-i" vs. "-uses" [duplicate]

Similarly to Latin words with no plurals in English I still have trouble with some plurals when the word ends in -us. For example, I have often been told that the plural for cactus is cacti, but then ...
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2answers
22k views

"s" vs. "z" in BE vs. AE

I have trouble understanding why some words change "s"-es to "z"-s from BE to AE and some not. For example: analyse -> analyze characterise -> characterize hypnotise -> hypnotize But: compromise -> ...
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0answers
44 views

exponential blow-up in 𝑛 or exponential blow-up with 𝑛?

Continuing http://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/123509/exponential-in-terms-of and How to indicate that a function is exponential? (nonetheless different from them), let us speak about a particular ...
27
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10answers
18k views

Is the phrase "I just sucked it out of my thumb" used in American English?

I was born and raised in South Africa. We frequently used the term "to suck out of one's thumb", implying that an answer was just a wild guess or the notion had no evidence but was rather just ...
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4answers
13k views

Why is soldier ˈsōljər? Where did the "j" come from?

Just a pronunciation question. Is it a vestige of the spelling battle between i and j, where in English the j lost out to the i, but with soldier we retained the sound?
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10answers
6k views

If I cannot win, then I will make it impossible for you to win

We have a joke about a foreigner that went to a wet market in zone 1 and saw a farmer selling live frogs in an open basket. As we all know, frogs jump. Actually, they jump about quite a bit when in a ...
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2answers
43 views

using "specialized" in a sentence

I am a bit confused about how to use the word "specialized" in a sentence as in the following sentences: The courses he took in medical school, made him specialize in medicine. The courses ...
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1answer
36 views

as mine - as I (am). semantics [closed]

I've asked a similar question before, but my thread is closed. As I've learned from previous thread, both these sentences are grammatical. My question is: what is the meaning difference between these ...
4
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1answer
12k views

Should 'advertised' be spelled with a Z in American English?

Should the adjective 'advertised' be spelled with a Z in American English? This Google search returns Advertise vs advertize - Grammarist as its first search result: In a rare show of solidarity, ...
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5answers
2k views

What is the American equivalent of a "backie"?

From Collins informal Brit a ride on the back of someone's bicycle And here the words backie or backy is listed as an "untranslatable", the blogger found no American equivalent. The BBC have been ...
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0answers
6 views

What is the meaning of the sentence - "I was living my own metaphor" [migrated]

I just started reading the book "The Alchemist". In the beginning, the author is talking about how no one was buying his book. He writes - "But I never lost faith in the book or ever ...
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0answers
7 views

Can I use Present Perfect tense and Past simple tense in the same sentence? [migrated]

I am struggling with the use of both present perfect and past simple tenses in the same line, which I will add to my formal writing. I just want to know if the following sentence is grammatically ...
0
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1answer
31 views

“from now” vs “from now on”

In scientific writing, I sometimes introduce variables in the introduction section as follows: The number of gizmos is expoinential in the number of hickeys (for which we write ℎ from now on). […] We ...
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1answer
42 views

"Device" vs "Delete" pronunciation [closed]

Why has the American English changed the pronunciation of "device" to /dəˈvaɪs/ while the word "delete" has retained its British nature which is /dɪˈliːt/ ? Both words are just too ...
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6answers
10k views

Do brides in church weddings go up the aisle toward the altar or down the aisle toward the altar?

Nigel Rees, The Cassell Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins (1987) has this entry regarding the question "WHY DO WE SAY ... BRIDES GO UP THE AISLE?" Sir Thomas Bazley fired off a letter ...
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0answers
82 views

Glide retention in tune, duke, news in the United States

In words like tune, duke, news or student, most Britons and a sizable minority of Canadians have a sort of y glide after the initial consonant or consonant cluster. For these speakers, the words do ...
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1answer
18 views

article reviewing or article reviews [duplicate]

I just want to know which one of the following sentences is grammatically correct and meaningful: They have invited me to do article reviews for their newspaper They have invited me to do article ...
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0answers
23 views

What is the correct grammar to use in this situation? "She and her colleagues" or "Her colleagues and she"? [migrated]

This is the sentence: She and her colleagues have been given handmade gifts from grateful patients and offered food and drinks. Which form is correct?: She and her colleagues Her colleagues and she ...
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2answers
123 views

Does the phrase "met fate" always refer to a death? And is it different from the phrase "met one's fate"?

All of the examples I've found have "met one's fate" as referring to a death. The dictionary also has it as referring to a death. (Merriam Webster's definition is simply: "to die".)...
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2answers
128 views

What is the general name/description for what I thought was "Makeout Creek"?

In The Simpsons, and many old movies from/set in the 1950s, there is a common scene where a couple sits in a parked car at what appears to be a high hill, in the evening or night, looking out over the ...
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2answers
80 views

Type of usage/accuracy

As the boy tames the wild bird, it evokes pleasure in him away from his hardship in society; the bird is bettering us here. verb gerund or present participle: bettering improve on or surpass (an ...
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3answers
2k views

Is "Goldbrick" commonly used in American English?

I came across the slang term "Goldbrick" in the American WWII cartoon Private Snafu The Goldbrick (Warning: possibly sexist at the start, and possibly racist near the end). I'd never heard the word ...
1
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2answers
54 views

Is America (grammatically) a "constitutional federal republic" or a "federal constitutional republic"?

Grammarly says the adjective federal goes before constitutional, but I'm not sure what type of adjectives federal and constitutional are. Here's what they said: It appears that the modifiers in the ...
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0answers
77 views

How many allophones possible of phoneme /ə/ are there in American English?

I am an ESL student. I want to speak American English fluently. Due to influence of my local dialect in my country, I only discover that there is [ə ɐ ɪə ɑ] doubtably according to my ear, and native ...
24
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5answers
134k views

What are the important differences between Canadian and American (USA) English?

English is not my first language; the little English I know is mostly from the USA. I know some of the differences between British English (or just English?) and American English, and the same with ...

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