Questions tagged [british-english]

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

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3answers
52 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
133 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
32 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
31 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
19 views

How to replace "this is " in academic wrting [closed]

I want to express the following statement in a more academic way "This is a potential son preference in a developing country." thanks !
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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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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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0answers
28 views

“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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0answers
6 views

“From whom” usage [migrated]

Is the following sentence grammatically correct? My friendly neighbor, from whom I borrowed a ladder last night, is a nurse; The correct answer seems to suggest that My friendly neighbor, whom I ...
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2answers
526 views

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
48 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
405 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
65 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
41 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
59 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
100 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
42 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
118 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
66 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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0answers
52 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
136 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
166 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
322 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
52 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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0answers
35 views

"He will be a doctor" [closed]

Am I right, interpreting these sentences? He will be a doctor= Either he is a doctor now or he will become a doctor in future. He might be a doctor= Either he is a doctor now or will become a doctor ...
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2answers
151 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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0answers
27 views

"Me too" or "I too"? [duplicate]

On the club channel, someone has asked who will come on Wednesday. One of the members replied: "I will be there on Wednesday.". Which form is correct: "I too" or "Me too" ...
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1answer
254 views

A digger or an academic

In one of Jeffery Archer's Prison Diary books (written ca. 2002) he asks a fellow inmate, a PhD student, whether he is "a digger or an academic". What is the meaning of "digger" in ...
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1answer
54 views

Looking for a single word for 'not meaning what you say' [closed]

I'm trying to find a word which conveys the meaning that the speaker knowingly uses empty words, or words to a specific effect, that he does not believe in. I have gone through all the possible ...
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1answer
45 views

Single word request: cancer patients' prognosis is bad (serious)

I, a non-native English speaker, am writing an academic summary in medicine and I am trying to find a word for describing that cancer patients prognosis is bad. However, "bad" isn't an ...
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0answers
19 views

Should it be 'equals' or 'equal'? [duplicate]

I was reading something and found this line. I just want to know whether the word 'equal' should be 'equals' or 'equal'? Which sentence is grammatical? At the time of settlement the cash value plus ...
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0answers
59 views

Otherwise as a Conjunction; does the second clause become a dependant clause when we use otherwise as a conditional?

If we have two independent clauses, which can stand on their own as complete sentences. When we join the two with a conditional such as "otherwise". The second clause, now headed by "...
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9answers
470 views

A better word than 'cathouse' for an outside shelter for 1 cat

Most of us who have gardens* and are fond of nature and animals have outside shelters for them... birdhouse dog house green house cat house? 'Cathouse' seems off to many Americans because of the ...
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2answers
92 views

Origin of the exact phrase "cold iron"?

Loosely inspired by this closed rpg.stackexchange question titled "What is Cold Iron actually? — Forget what it is; let's talk about the origin of the set phrase "cold iron" in English! ...
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0answers
70 views

Dialect differences between "should", "ought", and "ought to"

As I travel around England, Southern Wales, and Southern Scotland, I hear the rural and working-class people in some areas use "should" (and never "ought"), in other areas "...
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0answers
54 views

How would an expression like B.3/34 be pronounced, in historic or recent UK speech?

The expression is a designation for a 1930's British bomber, but the question really focuses on the ".". Would a UK speaker in the 1930's, or late 20th century, or now, say "bee full ...
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1answer
40 views

Is there any literary name attributed to 12 verse length stanza?

Not a 12 line poem, but a 12 verse stanza.
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1answer
73 views

"What went we out into this wilderness to find?" This sentence is grammatically correct. How?

"What went we out into this wilderness to find?" This is the first dialogue of the movie 'The VVitch'. I can't understand how this sentence is correct. I asked my teacher, she told me that ...
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1answer
35 views

"from the standpoint of" vs "in terms of"

I've been confused by the usage of "from the standpoint of" and "in terms of". Could anyone tell me if both of the following sentences are correct?  In terms of a high standard ...
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1answer
44 views

Capitalization of "neo-scholasticism" [duplicate]

Is the word 'neo-scholasticism' capitalized in academic writing, or not? It is lowercase in the Merriam Webster dictionary, but capitalized in the Collins English dictionary. So in a thesis, which ...
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1answer
30 views

Preposition needed: did not survive a certain timepoint [closed]

I have a sentence as follows. This should say that the patients who died during the observation period were excluded from analyses. Should I use a preposition after "survive"? I did a ...
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1answer
27 views

Is it correct to use a comma before naming a list of items in a sentence? [closed]

The question is about the first comma use in the sentences below. I have not seen such comma-punctuation in a sentence that continues with naming several listed items. Is the first comma in these ...
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0answers
36 views

Comma use in a complex sentence: independent clause combined with non-essential relative clause

I have the following sentence, where I have difficulty with the correct usage of commas. Inpatient nursing care is available for medically stable patients, who do not require constant medical ...
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0answers
17 views

Single word request: of/at that phase/time/period/care/management [duplicate]

I am writing a study aim and needs to be really concise. For background, "post-acute care" is the next/second step care in these patients' management. In other words, their care/management ...
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1answer
30 views

Dissertation: correct writing of a numbered list [closed]

Are there any grammatical rules for numbered lists (my university does not have a guideline for this)? Which format would be correct for the given example of numbered objectives? Two things that I ...
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1answer
27 views

Definite article use when writing about global population? [closed]

This is the first sentence in my work. Steadily ageing global population is leading to a crisis of noncommunicable diseases. In most cases, the first mentioning is not preceded by a definite article....
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0answers
56 views

Is [bʊt] (Northern England) analyzed as an allophone of /bʌt/?

In some/most Northern England accents, words that have [ʌ] in RP (or standard varieties of English) are pronounced with [ʊ]. So hut, cut, shut etc are pronounced with [ʌ]* in Southern British English ...
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1answer
92 views

Where do I put the period when I'm quoting?

If I quote someone, the quote ends in a period, and I end the sentence with the quote, where do I put the period? Inside the quotation marks or outside the quotation marks? I'm tempted to put a period ...
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4answers
91 views

What is the difference between "which" and "that? What should I use in the sentence? [duplicate]

What is the difference between which and that? For example, I have a sentence, They describe different methods, which their company usually practices. Which is better to use here — which or that?

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