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

2
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1answer
40 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Two articles in a row

Is there a correct English sentence which contains two (in)definite articles in a row such as: "a a"/"the the"/"a the"/"the a" ?
5
votes
2answers
314 views

Is “buffeted” the AmE version of the BrE word “buffetted”?

I am referring to the use of the verb "to buffet" meaning "(especially of wind or waves) strike repeatedly and violently; batter." The use of "buffeted" and "buffeting" is widespread. However use ...
-1
votes
1answer
38 views

On the back of the package or at the back of package?

Is this sticker: "On the back of the package" or "At the back of package" I am confused. I do not know the use of on or at. Waiting for somebody's reply.
0
votes
1answer
38 views

two prepositions following each other

This is a title of an article , does is make any sense in English grammar? The effects of the age on human trust in and acceptance of self driving cars. if you look at the sentence again, two words ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Does “discreet” mean “tactful” or “euphemistic”? [closed]

Could the word "discreet" be used to mean like "tactful" or "euphemistic"? Example: Try to say no in a discreet way (i.e. say no in a careful and euphemistic way so as not to upset/offend someone ...
-3
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2answers
46 views

below mentioned sentence is simple sentence or tense sentence?

Below mentioned sentence is "simple sentence" or "present indefinite" sentence sumit is to go to park.
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Is “Underground” a proper noun or a common noun?

The definition on the Oxford Dictionary is a little bit confusing for me. The dictionary doesn't call it a proper noun, but the first letter is capitalised in the example. Since I know the ...
2
votes
3answers
95 views

“The cat that got the cream” - is there any innuendo?

I think this is a British idiom. The American version would be, "The cat that killed the canary." I was about to say this to a female friend, intended as a "well done" sort of compliment, ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Can breathing be “uneven”? [closed]

I hope this is a valid question to ask. I wondered about the different expressions one can use for heavy or unstable breathing. Rather than being heavy breathing from exercising, it's heavy, laboured ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Can you use the sentence “friends is us” in colloquial English to convey the message we are friend. Is this correct English?

I asked a co-worker whether I could consider my relationship with them a friendship and I received the following reply: “totally friends is us, work is work”. I never heard such an expression before, ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

Sentence construction/comma usage

So, as a rule of thumb if you remove a word or clause which has been enclosed with bracketing commas then it shouldn't destroy the meaning of the sentence. Does this idea/rule apply to all aspects of ...
3
votes
2answers
509 views

Is the pronunciation difference between “BrE deuce” vs “AmE deuce” systematic?

While checking the exact pronounciation of the term deuce, I noticed that there is a clear difference between BrE /djuːs/ and NAmE /duːs/. While it is true that pronunciation has more exceptions ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Is veterinary as a noun a current AmE usage?

The more common term to call a doctor who’s specialized in taking care of the health of animals is veterinarian often shortened to vet. veterinary is the related adjective accoding to the Cambridge ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

“The second half of the 18th century is justly called the age of Petipa or the age of the <> in ballet” VS “The 18th century in ballet is justly…”

Where should I put "in ballet" to achieve maximum nativeness? Also, do I need quotation marks in "the age of Petipa"? Thanks.
34
votes
2answers
4k views

Why were slum kids called “urchins”?

To the eyes of Mr. Jeremiah Cruncher, sitting on his stool in Fleet Street with his grisly urchin beside him, a vast number and variety of objects in movement were every day presented. A Tale ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

News headline for “children catch thief”

If a couple of kids managed to provide the evidence that allowed the police to convict a thief (as in the Famous Five), what would a UK newspaper headline be? "Kids catch thief"? "Children catch thief"...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Usage of “it's to”

When I finally wake up, it's to his arm slung over me, holding me close to his chest. The sentence above is the extract of a reading source. What possibly could be the meaning of "it's to..."? ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

“ booking of our sudent or for our student”? Are there any differences between American and Br english?

is there a difference between saying: "we would like to confirm the booking of our sudent or for our student"? Are there any differences between American and Br english? It's supposed to be part of ...
3
votes
5answers
98 views

Is there a word to describe the act of discussing a problem and avoiding solving it?

I would like to pin it to my company's noticeboard. I'll give an example scenario... at work today a colleague encountered a problem, and solved it quickly, but needed their manager to speak with a ...
1
vote
2answers
45 views

“She's not been_____” or “She hasn't been_____”

Using the british-english tag because I'm wondering if it is commonly said this way or accepted as correct in the UK Is it grammatically correct to say, for example, "She's not been happy" instead ...
0
votes
2answers
65 views

My mother language is Arabic and the second language is English [closed]

1: Why are the four seasons in small letters, while the days of a week and the months of a year are in capital? (summer vs Monday) 2: What is the difference between the possessive case and the ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

How to use the prepositions “apud” and “chez”?

I couldn't find many examples of apud and chez as prepositions; I just found one description on Wiktionary: apud 1. Used in scholarly works to cite a reference at second hand. Jones apud ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Origin of “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”

According to the following source the adage The apple doesn't fall far from the tree originated in AmE in the first half of the 19th century: The first recorded use in the USA was by Ralph Waldo ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Consistency. If I write 'recognize' with a 'z' do I have to write 'characterize' with a 'z' too?

I'm translating a book and need to keep the English orthography consistent. I'm a native 'British English' speaker. I know in British English you can often use either 'ize' or 'ise' endings. My ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

“The earliest being” or “the earliest of which is”?

I have just received the following correction: These date back to trigonometric and logarithmic tables, the earliest of which being [is] a base-10 logarithm table from Briggs (1617). with the ...
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0answers
43 views

What is the basic concept of “It is time”/ “It is high time”? Please Explain and Which one is correct in following sentences?

It is time to pass the Exam. or It is time you should pass the Exam. or It is time, you should have passed the Exam. or It is time for you to pass the Exam. Please Explain thanks .
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Is 'server', as used of restaurant server, only an AmE expression?

I noticed, in an article recounting the very robust and competent response of a young lady to inappropriate conduct, that she was described as a 'server'. I have never seen this use of the word ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Drop-off in British English?

As I understand, the term drop-off can mean a steep decline in, say, sales; however, an abrupt cliff is not called a drop-off. Only in American English is drop-off used to describe a cliff's steep ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

“erupted in violence” vs. “erupted into violence” [closed]

I have come across both in major newspapers. Are both correct? What kind of phrase is this? Erupted in violence Erupted into violence This is the example sentence. "This led to riots in 2005, when ...
0
votes
2answers
37 views

Is it “Myself and _____”, “_____ and myself”, or “____ and I”? [duplicate]

For example, "Lucy and I are going to a movie" vs. "Myself and Lucy are going to a movie" vs. "Lucy and myself are going to a movie"
15
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5answers
1k views

Do native speakers of major English varieties actually say “a software” or “softwares”?

So I've looked up the word "software" around, and I've learned that -ware words are uncountable, and there's even a claim at the Wiktionary entry for this word that "a software" or "softwares" are a ...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

Use of “comma”, inside the quotation marks or after it? [duplicate]

I am having confusion, where to put comma, in the following case after the word water: There are roughly 1000 different words for “water,” as well as for “louse”. Or should I use put comma after ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Can “thanks” mean “no” in some context?

Just saying "thanks" is a polite way to say "no" in my native language. Not technically, but in daily use... I wonder whether there is a similar use in English? If I have the following conversation ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

From “breath of life” to “rescue breath”

While watching a YouTube video called How to Perform CPR, I was struck by the expression used by the instructor, “give one rescue breath” (1.52) and “to perform a rescue breath” (2.00). “Rescue ...
2
votes
2answers
78 views

Etymology of the imperial or royal “we”

The "imperial we" is when the Queen of England uses the word "we" in situations that a speaker/writer would normally use the word "I". From Merriam Webster, second definition of we: "used by ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Does 'neighbour', as a verb, take a direct object?

I heard, today, on an American documentary, the word 'neighbour' used as a verb, something I had not come across before. The OED tells me that the verb is obsolete or rare, but seems to have come back ...
0
votes
2answers
206 views

Alternatives for "Are you free now?”

I want to make a official call and ask the other person whether he is free or not at that particular time. I think asking, “Are you free now?” does't sound formal. So, are there any alternatives to it?...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

What does “within 12 months of expiry date” mean

To upgrade a CPCS card from red to blue one of the items on the list states this, does it mean i have to wait till the red card only has 12 months left on it (red card is valid for two years) just ...
2
votes
2answers
56 views

Meaning of “pips” in a sentence

I've been reading The Honourable Schoolboy by John Le Carré and the following extract confused me: "Are you English?" she asked on the way. "Pips, core, the lot," Jerry snorted furiously, which ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Ability in the future: “can” vs “will be able to”?

According to the Oxford Grammar Course (Intermediate) book by Swan & Walter, we normally use can if we are deciding now what to do in the future. In other cases, we use will be able to. I need ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

British English plural verb for group noun in a contraction

I'm curious about the use of the famous British plural verb form with a group noun¹ in a contraction. The general custom for the plural is discussed here and here but those don't call out contractions....
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votes
1answer
40 views

Usage of which in English

In Barron's ACT guide, I was stumped by the following: "Man alone was endowed by imagination, which was bound to complicate matters for him" was stated grammatically incorrect. Why would that be the ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

In/on the/ line/page

Which of the following 4 possibilities is used when? in line in the line on line on the line E.g. how do I correctly say There is a typo in line 6 of this paragraph. And I have the same question ...
0
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0answers
20 views

<factors which> vs <factors that> [duplicate]

Could anyone tell me the difference in meaning caused by the use of which/that in these two sentences? Information is given about the factors which predispose complications. vs Information is ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Do these two sentences mean the same thing?

1st - 'You have got until the count of five' 2nd - 'You have got to the count of five' Do these two mean the same thing?
1
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0answers
33 views

Can I understand 95 percent of CNN and Talk Show, movies, anything just in 3 years? [closed]

Can I understand 95 percent of CNN , Talk Show, movies and anything? If I listen to English material (podcasts and videos, …) for three years and I also listen to English materials for 3 hours every ...
1
vote
1answer
19 views

From before, from aforementioned

Can before and aforementioned be used in a similar way to above? Context: Say I'm writing a report, and would like to reference an earlier bit. If that earlier bit is in close proximity or follows ...
-1
votes
2answers
31 views

Is popular name for Brompton bike written as “Bromie”, “Brommie” or “Bromi”?

Owners of Brompton bikes often call their bikes as [bromi] bikes. I am wondering what is written version of this word. On the internet I can find all three versions. What do you find best one if I ...
-1
votes
1answer
41 views

Why we don't use “s” when ask with “can”? [closed]

We don't use "plays" in a question "Can he play the piano?". Why?