Questions tagged [british-english]

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

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5answers
1k views
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Have American English speakers always used the term “last name” instead of “surname”?

surname noun [ C ] mainly UK (US usually last name); (UK also second name) ​ the name that you share with other members of your family; last name: Her first name is Sarah but I don't ...
0
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0answers
14 views

Illogical equations in literature

2,500 cubic centimeters of rock, and dust a day, for 365 days." "Equals three and a half meters a year," He began, placing the rocks down, earning a nod from the Gargoyle to show he was correct, ...
3
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3answers
3k views

Title of a widow?

I have to book a flight for my grandma who was married and became a widow. She still has to get a new ID but I want to book the flight asap. How do I write her title? Miss, misses, or?
2
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2answers
41 views

Should 'known as' be followed by quotation marks?

e..g This is how he became known as 'the ape king'. or 'from then on, he became known as 'the smartest man in Britain'. Or should this be without quotation marks?
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0answers
13 views

Asking about subscription terms start noun, verb, adjectives

I need to create a database which holds subscription member. But, its confusing to name it. I need a terms to call start subscription date. month subscription. end subscription date. i call it ...
0
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1answer
58 views

hyphenation of ‘editorial’ in BrE

According to an online hyphenator, the hyphenation of ‘editorial’ is ed-it-or-ial in British English and ed-i-to-rial in American English. I'm interested in the hyphenation of the noun ‘...
-6
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1answer
40 views

What is the difference between [closed]

What is the difference between I will be going on choose ... and I will still be choosing ... What is more correct?
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4answers
126 views

How can I translate the French expression “travailler en alternance” to English? [closed]

I am looking to translate the expression travailler en alternance into English. I have found several answers on the internet but none seems to match my use case. I am still at school and I am ...
0
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0answers
24 views

comma before 'so that' in a long sentence in British English

Continuing https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/203035/when-do-we-put-a-comma-before-so-that, consider the following British-English sentences: It is important to involve the application ...
3
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1answer
96 views

Britishism: see you fast

In Season Two Episode One of Happy Valley, the mentor constable explains to the new recruit how helpful it is to have a good relationship with the receptionist, Joyce: Oh, and get well in with ...
-4
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0answers
36 views

How to use verb after “of”? [closed]

Books of Mahmud is good. Or *Books of Mahmud are good. which is correct?
0
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1answer
35 views

Various mails in chain [closed]

Which is more correct to say See mail trail See trail mail I want to know the right sentence to use when writing mail. Some people use mail trail while some use trail mail. It puts me ...
0
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0answers
37 views

in this sentence, do you need a “because”?

is this sentence correct? To pick up an item, left click on its green box. You will walk to there and pick it up. If red, you cannot, you are too far away. Thank you
1
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1answer
38 views

Is there a rule for the (non-)capitalisation of Schadenfreude and sauerkraut? [duplicate]

The Cambridge Dictionary capitalises Schadenfreude but does not capitalise sauerkraut. What is the BrE rule for this (other than looking it up in a dictionary or style guide), if any? NB: According ...
4
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6answers
66k views

Difference between “get” and “take”

What is the difference between "get" and "take"? Both are used to describe receiving something. By intuition I mostly guess which one to use, but would like to know some rule which will stick in my ...
0
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0answers
16 views

British English for possessive 's when a names ends with “s” [duplicate]

My son has a teacher that he wishes to give a gift to, Mrs. Coomes. What is the correct way to use what would normally be 's when the name ends with es? Another answer states adding es on the end ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Is comma before 'and even' needed?

Consider the following sentence: Many businesses in the service sector, such as banks and insurance companies(,) and even telecommunication companies, use software intensively. In British English, ...
10
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4answers
455 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 ...
1
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0answers
28 views

Comma between two embedded relative clauses introduced by a verb, starting with relative pronouns, and connected with a conjunction?

Consider the following sentence: But the question of how to make sure that software is written effectively(,) and at the same time that it works correctly in all cases is bothering many software ...
10
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3answers
44k views

What is the origin of the phrase “History teaches, never trust a Cecil”?

I've come across the phrase "History teaches, never trust a Cecil!" in different places (among others, in the Netflix series "The Crown" with regards to Lord Salisbury). While the sentiment is easy ...
0
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0answers
15 views

'There’s no hope of their winning the match.' [duplicate]

I have seen this given as an exemplary gerundial construction in a B2/C1 level English exam's guidelines. Can anyone please explain, how is this sentence grammatically correct (the 'their winning the ...
0
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1answer
43 views

Is a comma after the word introduced by 'let alone' in the middle of a sentence needed?

Consider the following British-English sentence: It is difficult for the decision-makers to believe, let alone accept(,) that the increased hardware-security would outweigh the production loss ...
0
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1answer
24 views

To collect someone or to pick someone - UK English

What would a receptionist say to someone having an appointment: "Please, take a seat; someone from company ABC is on the way to collect (?) you". What is more more idiomatic in a formal UK English: ...
0
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1answer
36 views

I have got a car (Present Simple or Present Perfect?)

I was taught that ‘have got’ means tener and you can also use ‘have’ [Present Simple] I have got a car./I have a car I haven't got a car./I don't have a car Have I got a car?/Do I have a car? ...
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0answers
45 views

not seeing why a Sikh should put on airs with me [on hold]

I asked Narayan Singh what he would do in the circumstances. “That will be a simple matter, sahib,” he answered. So I damned him suitably, not seeing why a Sikh should put on airs with me. “Any ...
0
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0answers
74 views

So I damned him suitably, not seeing why a Sikh should put on airs with me

I asked Tom what he would do in the circumstances. “That will be a simple matter,” he answered. So I damned him suitably, not seeing why a Sikh should put on airs with me. “Any ignorant fool can say a ...
31
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6answers
8k views

Sleepy tired vs physically tired

I'm trying to figure out if there is a better way to distinguish between being sleepy-tired, and being physically tired. Scenario A: You didn't get much sleep last night. It's only 10am so you've not ...
13
votes
6answers
8k views

British and American most common term for rubber/eraser shavings

I've been looking for the name of the rubbish left when one uses a rubber (UK), eraser (US). I've come across a plethora of terms but it isn't clear which are more “universal”. (After all, a sharpener ...
31
votes
2answers
18k views

When do you use “learnt” and when “learned”?

Is learnt UK English and learned US? Is it that simple? I’m used to using learnt, but my US spellchecker says it is wrong.
0
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0answers
41 views

“Search up” in place of “look up” or “search for”

My school-child insists that amongst (British) English youngsters, “search up” is now commonly accepted, e.g., “Search up doolah on Google.” Is this really a common (emergent) use?
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0answers
38 views

“Flat” joke in the “Courtroom” sketch of A bit of Fry and Laurie

One of my favorite sketches from "A bit of Fry and Laurie" series is the courtroom sketch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVRODdXVI3Q There is, however, a little detail in the sketch I am having ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Is “mad” used as an intensifier in the UK?

I mean mad as in 'mad good' 'mad props' etc which mean ''very good'' or ''much propers to you'' or intensifies the ''good'' part. I hope its more clear now?
4
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4answers
23k views

Born(e) (out?) of the desire

I'd be most grateful to anyone who could tell me which of the following is right xyz was born out of the desire to... xyz was born of the desire to... xyz was borne out of the desire to... xyz was ...
0
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1answer
44 views

Ground Floor versus First Floor; Who is Less Wrong? [closed]

In the UK we say 'ground floor' and in the US they say 'first floor' for the lowest level in a building. As I am fairly sure, no-one else in the world uses this terminology. Does this make Britons ...
0
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0answers
48 views

I don't want to make any excuses for myself

Is this sentence correct? For instance the context is that I'm talking with a friend and I'm telling him I don't want to make any excuses for myself. Sounds a bit odd, what can I do to make it more ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Differences in swearing - UK vs US [closed]

I often watch american series and they all swear like: "fuck", or "don't fucking do this", "what the fuck!" on the softer side: "Jesus Christ!", "Jeez". But I was wondering is, what are the British ...
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0answers
28 views

Usage of otherwise [closed]

I tried to translate this sentence ‘think of your report as part of your investigation, not as a duty to be undertaken when your work is otherwise complete’ into my language but it's quite hard tho. ...
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0answers
25 views

How does one use a forward slash that applies applys between two interchangable phrases; as opposed to two interchangable words?

For example, 'Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment' would mean, in essence, 'Continuous Integration Development'; or 'Continuous Continuous Development'. This does not seem to amke too ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Is “really” in the sense of “very”, American English, or British English?

Or is it both? If it is American English, what would be the British English equivalent, or vice versa. "I really like this dress" as in "I very much like this dress"
1
vote
2answers
38 views

What is the phrasal verb for working hard?

I can't recall that phrasal verb and I'm upset. It's like a 's**** away' phrasal verb. Also, if I've got it right, it means to work hard, but it's not slave away. Anyone?
0
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1answer
20 views

What is meaning of “Wrestling words into submission”? [closed]

I came across a sentence which goes "I knew I wasn't meant to spend my life locked away in a silent room alone and half-crazed, wrestling words into submission." Can some please tell me what it means?...
0
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0answers
47 views

Change in pronunciation of “leverage”

Why have British people recently started pronouncing leverage as "levverage" (ie: the US pronunciation)? This is especially apparent now in reporting financial and political trends. I have spent my ...
0
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0answers
27 views

Is 'I can't imagine what would that be like' a correct sentence? [migrated]

I don't like literary theory, I can't imagine what would that be like.. That's my own sentence, but I've got no idea how to correct this.
0
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2answers
1k views

Whole + Plural Nouns

On my old Upper-Intermediate Book it's reported that whole plus a plural noun ( for instance whole businesses) means each one. To be more clear, I write here the explanation the book gives: "It's ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

What is a secondary school graduate called?

I think graduate indicates only a university graduate in British English, but in American English can it perhaps also suggest a high-school graduate as well? Could anyone tell me something about ...
1
vote
4answers
8k views

“On the air” OR “On air”

Do you remember Northern Exposure? I hope so. Chris had a light-sign in his office: And when you search Google Images for "on the air" some of the signs shown have "on air" without "the". So which ...
1
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0answers
30 views

What are the English phrases/words a foreigner should not use? [closed]

Do you know this feeling, when somebody is trying to use a word they heard somewhere and think that it's relevant and will be suitable, but it actually isn't because they are not the generation that ...
6
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4answers
1k views

What is the entomology of “ligger”?

This answer on a prior question points out that ligger is defined by UrbanDictionary as: Ligger An individual who attends parties, openings, social gatherings and events with the sole ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

“Welcome” or “Welcomed” in British English or American

If I was telling someone "you're most welcome, and accepted." should I've said most welcomed instead of welcome?
13
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4answers
8k views

Whence does “sprog” come?

The British informal word for a child. I couldn't get any work done because the sprogs were running riot. ODO has the following: 1940s (originally services' slang): perhaps from obsolete sprag '...