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Questions tagged [british-english]

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

0
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1answer
87 views

May “in with” be used to mean “among?”

I was thinking about how little I use the word among and how I would phrase the dictionary's example sentences for it. Most of it involved substitution with the word with. Then I noticed something. ...
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0answers
41 views

Why is a private school called “public school” in the UK? [on hold]

Public school seems to have contradictory meanings, depending on the region you use the term: (in the UK) a private fee-paying secondary school, especially one for boarders. (chiefly in North America)...
3
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1answer
54 views

I see this paragraph in “The life of Samuel Johnson”

I see this paragraph in "The life of Samuel Johnson" "Pope, who then filled the poetical throne without a rival, it may reasonably be presumed, must have been particularly struck by the sudden ...
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2answers
38 views

doubt about whether to use “review” or “reviewing”

My question is whether to use the word "review" or "reviewing" in the following paragraph: When this happens, the video may be too long, and consequently, its review/reviewing will take a lot time.
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1answer
20k views

What is the meaning of “He's got his quiver full”?

It was part of a dialogue I read some time ago: A. "His wife is pregnant again." B. "Really? He's got his quiver full, hasn't he?" A. "He has, and I tell you, he should know better." I'm ...
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0answers
42 views

Do you stick to the original spelling of a name regardless of British or American spelling?

For example, NATO stands for "North Atlantic Treaty Organization", which is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries, hence the American spelling of "...
18
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2answers
6k views

Preventative vs. preventive

In this answer about the non-word disabilitated, the word preventative is compared (unfavourably, if my reading of the implication is correct) to preventive. However, I have always used preventative, ...
1
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2answers
87 views

What does 'give the wall' mean?

I read in a book and see this paragraph: 'In the last age, when my mother lived in London, there were two sets of people, those who gave the wall, and those who took it; the peaceable and the ...
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2answers
141 views

x-stor(e)y or x-floor or x-level house/building?

Which is the correct for British English? I need the correct for both a separate house and an apartment building, if this makes difference. I can't find any concrete answer online.
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2answers
42 views

Clearer title in American English for Liaison? What is a good verb to use for the action?

I've found using the word Liaison in general (especially as a title) in American English conversations is problematic. As many people seem to use it synonymously with manager or advocate. Is there a ...
3
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2answers
505 views

By which, to which, at which, to whom. are these Relative pronouns in Adjective cluase?

From experience, I know that: which, who, where, why, whom, there, that are relative pronouns but I wonder about the expressions: 'by which', 'to which', 'at which', 'to whom Are ...
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0answers
51 views

What are the major pronunciation differences between US and UK English? [closed]

I am writing an article on the differences between American and British English. Though I know of the spellings, I'm particularly confused about the pronunciation part.
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0answers
31 views

function name, “onButtonClick” or “onClickButton”

I am a Japanese Web developer. I want to be better at English. What is the proper name of a function that means, "when button is(was) clicked" ? "onButtonClick"? "onClickButton"? "onButtonClicked"...
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0answers
27 views

Redundancy errors

I have got a query on the differences between the usage of describe and tell about. To the best of my knowledge, normally describe and about won’t come together as describe itself means tell about. ...
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3answers
10k views

Use of “manifest” as an active verb

Recently I completed an English creative writing exam in which I used the phrase files and papers manifest, as if by some unholy magic at the tray on his desk. My teacher stated that my use of ...
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1answer
44 views

Why does British English use “Collective are” and others use “Collective is”?

Since Indian English uses "Collective is" I feel British English has adopted it after the colonial days. When did countries diverge on is/are and which countries use the British system?
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0answers
39 views

Are email salutations regional?

Best wishes is very popular ending for emails and replaces best regards in almost all emails I've received from academics in Cambridge (UK). At the same time I've never seen this used by American ...
9
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2answers
7k views

Is the expression “one's cup of tea” used in American English?

OK, the Free Dictionary defines this as one's cup of tea: Something that is in accord with one's liking or taste. For example, Quiz shows are just my cup of tea, or Baseball is not her cup of tea. ...
3
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4answers
123 views

When do British people use the word “cookie”?

I have noticed that British people usually say "biscuit" to describe what an American would call a "cookie". However, I just heard a sports broadcaster in the UK using the metaphor "I wonder when he ...
1
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1answer
65 views

Why can't we say that “Horses are a useful animal.” treats horses as a class or set of objects?

(1)Computers are important research tools. (2)Computers are an important research tool. We can say that the first sentence treats computers as discrete objects. The second sentence treats ...
4
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1answer
71 views

In British English, which is more common — the em dash or the en dash?

I'm reasonably certain the em dash is more common than the en dash in American English. But which of the two is more common in British English?
2
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2answers
159 views

Correct usage/ that/they as complete sentences

But it’s these conflicts between life and death that are the works main themes. They echo an important principle in that we shouldn’t fear or challenge death, or the nature of death. That we can meet ...
3
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2answers
53 views

When was the term “reality” first used referring to a TV show?

According to Etymonline the expression is from the early ‘90, but they add no details: Reality television from 1991. Reality television as a genre appears to date back at least to the ‘40s as ...
1
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1answer
41 views

drop out vs dropout vs drop-out [closed]

If I understand correctly, I have to use one of these 3 forms depending on the case: verb: drop out noun: dropout modifer: drop-out Are the following 7 examples spelled correctly in British ...
0
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0answers
19 views

What does “break out the gavel ”mean?

In hopeless by coleen hoover sky says she will eventually "break out the gavel " any guesses what she means?
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4answers
134 views

Looking for a phrasal verb to say the hidden reason behind of several issues

I'm not even sure whether there is existence of such phrasal verb in English or not. But probably native speakers can help me out with this. All of your friend's problems are due to his recent ...
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3answers
43 views

is “Lighting the spark for XYZ” a meaningful phrase in english? [closed]

I am trying to translate or rather come up with an English expression for the German "den Funken überspringen lassen" for a title of an academic paper. My best solution so far is "Lighting the spark ...
1
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1answer
53 views

Why do we put subject and auxiliary verbs at the end of the sentence?

Why do we put subject and auxiliary verbs e.g., have, be, do at the end of the sentence? I found this kind of sentences from a fantasy book named The last apprentice by Joseph Delany. Examples: ...
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2answers
49 views

Is it deodoriser/deodorizer/deodouriser/deodourizer? In British English as well as American [closed]

British English would usually use "-our" and "-ser" and American English would use "-or" and "-zer". I don't seem to find an appropriate answer to this. Which combination is actually correct for ...
2
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3answers
81 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 ...
31
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4answers
7k views

Origin of “queer as a clockwork orange”

While reading a recent Ken Follet novel, I came across the following, spoken in a gay bar set in early sixties London: "I am queer as a clockwork orange, a three-pound note, a purple unicorn, or a ...
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0answers
19 views

Usage with conjunctions

She bought one for her, one for him. She bought one for her, and one for him The horse ran out of the gate, across the field. The horse ran out of the gate and across the field. Are the ...
2
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1answer
99 views

How do you pronounce the word Shaman?

I found 2 American pronunciation samples on Forvo, and they said /ˈʃæmən/ (audio), I wonder if British people say /ˈʃeɪmən/ (audio), or not? Could you please tell me something about that?
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1answer
38 views

Phrase meaning of equal parts

IN THE CUT-THROAT realm of reality TV, “Wanted Down Under” is a survivor. A daytime fixture that has just finished its 13th season, the BBC documentary follows Britons contemplating relocating to ...
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0answers
4 views

I was having a bath with my glasses wore/wearing? [migrated]

I want say a sentence like: I was having a bath with my glasses wore/wearing I've definitely come cross similar structure like this, with my stuff + past simple(or perhaps past participle). Hopefully ...
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0answers
12 views

usage with preposition and subordinate clauses

The performer died after falling ill on stage. This was thought by the audience to be a part of the act, until emergency services were called in, the audience was evacuated, and he was declared dead ...
2
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1answer
70 views

Usage of “to double down” in British and American English

The idiom "to double to on sth" in the sense of "continuing to do something in an even more determined way than before" is mentioned in the Cambridge Dictionary. However, personally, I've heard this ...
0
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1answer
68 views

Require more of/from inanimate objects

Can you require more of your equipment or require more from your equipment in the sense of asking more of it, i.e. demand equipment that performs better/is able to fulfill a greater amount of ...
0
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2answers
498 views

When did Americans begin to use “practice” instead of “practise”?

I am writing an historical novel, and I try to have my characters speaking and writing as everybody did at the time. But I don't know when we in the US began to use practice as a verb instead of ...
27
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7answers
35k views

Why did “sceptical” become “skeptical” in the US?

Compare the following two Google Ngram Viewer charts for sceptical vs. skeptical in American English and British English: British English American English My interpretation of these charts is that: ...
17
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5answers
25k views

Is the proper spelling “judgment” or “judgement”?

I always thought the proper spelling was  judgment, but I see  judgement all the time, even in articles, news, etc. Merriam-Webster lists  judgement as a variant spelling for judgment. But is the ...
10
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5answers
18k views

How do “you” pronounce eczema?

/ˈɛɡzɪmə/, /ˈɛksɪmə/, /ˈɛksmə/ As I no longer live in the UK I don't usually hear how eczema is pronounced, so I've always pronounced it as ig-zee-muh but recently my English boyfriend told me that ...
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1answer
632 views

Alternative sentence of “May I come in, please?”

What do you usually say in the UK when you come into the class while the teacher is teaching. Is it ok to say "excuse me, sir or miss" or "May I come in, please"? are there any other ways to say this?
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9answers
181k views

“have” vs.“have got” in American and British English

I have looked through several questions and answers on EL&U, and often there is an indication that American English prefers "have" while British English prefers "have got". In addition, there are ...
0
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1answer
28 views

“Facing the resignation” meaning [closed]

What does it mean: "You'll just be spending your day working to overcome strains, trying to live your life and at various points facing the resignation that if you can't get your *** of this wheel ...
0
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1answer
51 views

How would you describe the movement of a lever?

The story is that I was describing an action happens in the car park in class, and I got stuck, I said something like: "after putting a coin in the slot of the parking meter, then the lever would be ...
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1answer
114 views

That vs Which (Solved using Gerund)

Apologies for re-opening a discussion on this topic, nevertheless, I'd like to hear your opinion on this. Take this sentence: There are ethical reasons that may lead John to opt for this choice. ...
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1answer
37 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

“book an appointment” in a more casual way [closed]

I'd like to ask what would be the most casual/common way for you to book an appointment for a haircut. Let's say I've been to one particular hairdresser several times already and "Can I book an ...
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3answers
51 views

Why do U.S. Americans say “a good value” (using indefinite article “a”)

Take this example from the Airbnb website: "What would have made this listing a better value?" This souds absolutely horrible and incorrect to my Australian ears (I would omit the "a"). I've also ...