Questions tagged [british-english]

This tag is for questions related to English as used in Great Britain, and sometimes Ireland.

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40 views

Is a given name made up of two names separated by a hyphen called a double-barrelled given name?

Such given names are quite common in certain cultures. For instance, in France, you might find people having the first name Charles-Édouard or Xavier-Luc. Surnames in that form are referred to as ...
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21 views

"Not too hot" phrase vs "not too good" [closed]

I came across this phrase on a television show. I looked it up and it means "not too good". Can someone confirm whether "not too hot" (or "not doing too hot") is a AmE/ ...
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1answer
81 views

Meaning of “show out” (intransitive form, NOT show someone out)

In a video about undercover police work, the expression to “show out” comes back twice: No wonder he got shot, to be honest. Mind you he showed out, didn’t he? Golden rule. [3:46] You never break ...
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22 views

What is the correct grammar for this? [closed]

I saw this comment on a tik tok video and wanted to correct the grammar, without any compromises! I have been speaking the English language for more than 3/4ths of my life and can't seem to figure ...
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17 views

Which sentence is grammatically correct in English? [closed]

Out of those 3: His schedule is surely extremely filled, just like ours and he probably couldn't found time to respond yet. His schedule is surely extremely filled, just like ours and he probably ...
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22 views

What does the phrase "meaning up" means/states? [closed]

What does the phrase "meaning up" suggest? I want to ask native English speakers how they sees "meaningup.com" at first glance. I am a web developer and a friend of mine wants to ...
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57 views

What is the origin of the British phrase "Rough as houses"?

I'm preempting the usual comments by saying: If you're not British, you probably won't have heard it before. But it is a fairly well known phrase in BrE. For instance, in this book: Unfortunately, it ...
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1answer
31 views

What is the origin of the meaning of 'counter' to express the surface on which goods or money is counted? [closed]

The OED does not appear to list the meaning of the noun 'counter' which conveys the concept of a flat surface over which goods or money is counted, except that it lists the verb 'to counter' as having ...
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50 views

When ordering from a restaurant, what exactly is "still water"?

For starters, I live in Canada and therefore speak Canadian/North American English. Today, I saw the expression "still water" when ordering in a restaurant, as opposed to "fizzy water&...
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33 views

A first line of a business email when you don't know the name nor gender of a person you write to (and time-agnostic too) [duplicate]

"Greetings," and "hello there" are not businessy enough, are they? "Dear Sir or Madam," sounds a bit too pompous. "Good time of a day" sounds strange. Are there ...
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1answer
29 views

What is the word for implying something by denying it? [duplicate]

There is a word that describes the act of implying something via a denial of that same thing. I have forgotten the word and can no longer find it online using my search-fu. What is the word? eg: "...
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What's the word when you're saying that the fault is from both parties. Like yours and someone else's fault and so you're both kinda sharing it

What's the word when you're saying that the fault is from both parties. Like yours and someone else's fault and so you're both kinda sharing it? I forgot the word
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227 views

What feelings are expressed by the verb "to miss (someone)"?

This might sound like a silly question, but what feelings does the verb "to miss (someone)" exactly express? I know in which context the verb is used, but not the exact feelings behind it, ...
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11 views

" I got selected" =I am or I was selected (specially in british english) [migrated]

"I got selected for a job today." Apart from "have been", could I replace "got" with "Was" or "Am"? "I was or I am selected"? I reckon if I ...
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58 views

present perfect in the since-clause [closed]

The following sentences are judged unacceptable by many people, but some people, especially Brits, find b and c okay. If they are okay, what does b mean exactly? Is c ambiguous? a. It is over 20 years ...
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1answer
160 views

“suggested I just ate/eat a banana”

The following is an extract from a passage, the emboldened sentence being the phrase of interest: Coming in a minimalistic white pouch, the meal-replacement powder blends things like rice, peas and ...
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38 views

"Protective armor" Why does such a word combination exist?

Why does such a word combination as "Protective armor" exist? Is there non-protective armor? Please, explain if there is some nuance.
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1answer
44 views

Meaning of "mapped as" in context

Recently I come across the following sentence: The “Ship Date” is mapped as the “Current Date” for the order. It was part of my task as a software developer, the context is that I need to set values ...
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49 views

After the game, we went out to eat, went to the movies, and then went home. Is it a simple or compound sentence? [migrated]

After the game, we went out to eat, went to the movies, and then went home. Is that a simple or compound sentence?
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19 views

Is “be confident in your capacity” grammatically correct?

I'm trying to learn some new English recently, is this sentence grammatically correct? Be confident in your capacity. Does it sound weird to say? To me it seems like when saying capacity some ...
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1answer
36 views

How do you remember the British spelling of "Licence"? [closed]

As someone with Dyslexia, I always struggle with the US and UK variants of words. This one seems to be particularly difficult for me, so do you have any suggestions on how to remember the difference?
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71 views

British equivalent of American "condo"?

In AmE, a condominium (or condo) is an apartment that you own. In BrE, the word flat is used instead of apartment. What is, then, the British equivalent of condo (i.e., a flat that you own)? Wikipedia ...
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42 views

What does a British person mean by: "Yer a right sausage, you!"? [closed]

I heard this said by a native British speaker in a video: Yer a right sausage, you! What does this mean? My guess is that it means something like: You are a truly stupid/silly person! Am I right? ...
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92 views

The phrase "in (the) light of" - USAGE 2021

There is a distinction between "in the light of" and "in light of", with the first expression belonging to British English and the second to American English. The Oxford Dictionary,...
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1answer
40 views

What is an unambiguous expression for 3 3 3 3 3? [closed]

In some country there is a unit for countable quantity. 3 3 3 3 3 For example, they say "5 count-unit of 3". But in English we just say "five threes". But then 3 3 3 3 3 and 5 3 ...
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1answer
68 views

This use of "that" in British English

Probably informal if not exclusively colloquial. The pattern is as follows <adjective>, that Some that I've seen: Awful, that. Wonderful, that. Suspicious, that. I understand the meaning ...
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1answer
50 views

Correct form of 'Linearised' as an adjective in UK English [closed]

I am writing a paper using UK English. If the word "linearised" is used as an adjective, shall I write "linearized"? For example:- "A linearized equation" instead of &...
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3answers
72 views

“Make sure to” vs. “Make sure you”

I am a middle-aged native British English speaker. Throughout most of my life, in the UK the phrase "Make sure you..." has been used universally. For example: "Make sure you collect ...
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2answers
151 views

Etymology of "brave", meaning insane

I was reviewing the hilarious and terrifying British English to other translation guide and I would be fascinated to know something. How has the use of brave in "That's a very brave proposal"...
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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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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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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 ...
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“Can I ask it?”

In the TV show Ted Lasso, one character (of Nigerian descent) asks another for a roll of tape by saying “Can I ask it?” I wasn’t familiar with this phrasing. I think an American would have said “Could ...
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How did "muggins" come into use?

In an episode of "Yes Minister", the Rt. Hon. James Hacker is appointed to be "Transportation Supremo" - in charge of devising an integrated transport policy. His permanent ...
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2answers
80 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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4answers
426 views

Can Practice (verb) and Practise (verb) indicate two different meanings?

I recall that at school (in the late 1960s/early 1970s) in England I was taught how and when to use Practice and Practise. What I was taught was this: Practice, when used as a verb, means to do ...
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1answer
43 views

Dialectal variation in subtleties of usage of the word "sore"

I grew up in southern England, and now live in Scotland. There are many interesting and well-known quirks of usage that differ between Southern English English and the various Scottish dialects and ...
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2answers
74 views

What exactly is a "building" in the UK?

My question relates specifically to multi-storey residential buildings with several flats on each floor. Not necessarily high-rises or a "block of flats". An example would be the following ...
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1answer
44 views

Is it common to omit the preposition "of" when referring to dates in British English [duplicate]

In American English, we usually refer to dates using the month-day format. So the date today is spoken as "August eleven" without requiring the preposition "of". However, as far as ...
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2answers
65 views

Usage of being in English

Someone has written I would like to be a human being rather than being a feminist. Is it correct grammatically to use 'being' here after 'than'? What is the grammar behind it?
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1answer
151 views

What makes Jacob Rees-Mogg's accent posh? [closed]

The accent of the British politician Jacob Rees-Mogg is often described as posh, with many people going as far as saying it is an affectation of his. To my non-native speaker ears, his pronunciation ...
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1answer
44 views

Which of the following sentences is correct: Can you not travel during this period? or Are you unable to travel during this period? [closed]

I came across the following sentence written by a supposedly native (British) English speaker in a text I'm currently editing and it immediately struck me as being odd: We offer special discounts to ...
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3answers
127 views

How is the word "wrangle" used in Europe?

I'm starting a new online business in the US, and hope to attract customers in Europe as well. I'm thinking about using the word wrangler in the name of the business. The meaning I'm intending is &...
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1answer
104 views

British pronunciation of the word "year"

It's clear that this word is usually pronounced /jɪə/, but it seems to me that in some British accents (probably one of them is RP) it's pronounced /jeə/ so that it becomes a homophone of ‘yeah’. ...
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53 views

Nike brand pronounced /ˈnʌɪk/ instead of /ˈnaɪki/? BrE? Or? [duplicate]

I've only ever known Nike to be pronounced as /ˈnaɪki/. Recently, I've heard many BrE speakers exclusively read the brand as: /ˈnʌɪk/. Do all BrE speakers pronounce Nike in this way? Is it a regional ...
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2answers
148 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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2answers
176 views

'off the stone' equivalent in American English

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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2answers
363 views

What does this bit of Cockney mean?

In the 2nd episode of the 3rd season of Would I Lie To You?, a fragment is shown from a 1985 episode of London Weekend Television's The Six O'Clock Show, with someone purporting to be a former Teddy ...
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1answer
60 views

What do you call a client who is one of the most important for your business? [closed]

We are a small company and we treat this as an advantage. We work with a very limited number of clients, so each and every one of them is super important for us. We can't afford to screw anything up ...
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2answers
165 views

Is there a more British way to talk about tackling problems?

I can see that the Cambridge Dictionary is at least aware of the use of tackle meaning "come to grips with a problem" and I can see that the Sunday Times has used it on occasion. It still ...

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