Questions tagged [north-american-english]

Questions about English used in the United States and Canada, but usually not Mexico.

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Correct me if I am wrong [closed]

One of my friends asked, when are you planning to shift Bangalore? I said after marriage i am planning to relocate to Bangalore... Is this is sentence correct?
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Is it grammatically correct [nowadays] not to invert the NP and copula in an indirect question? [duplicate]

I don't know if this is a recent phenomenon, but for the last decade, I've noticed when English speakers make statements denoting there are/were unknowns, they usually phrase them with a question ...
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Colloquial name for the airport-like fences (pictures attached)

What is the colloquial name of this type fences? Tape fences? Internet suggested "retractable belt stanchion set" and "airport fence", but they aren't used only in airports and &...
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3 votes
2 answers
231 views

Are Canadianisms like "aboat" equally common on the American side of the border, adjacent to it?

Most Canadians live close the the border. If you cross to the American side of border, in a rural area, do Canadianisms (1) like "aboat" (2) suddenly become much less common? Since this ...
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How do American speakers use the present subjunctive in a less formal way on American-English? [duplicate]

Although we don't use present subjunctive often, there are some kind of times you practically need to use it. For example, in British-English you usually use "should" in the present ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How do American speakers use the present subjunctive in a less formal way on American-English?

Although we don't use present subjunctive often, there are some kind of times you practically need to use it. For example, in British-English you usually use "should" in the present ...
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1 answer
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"Coming in this country" or "coming into this country" [duplicate]

Is it correct to say coming in this country just as it is with coming into this country ? There's no doubt in my mind that I can use both with arrive: arriving in this country vs. arriving into this ...
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16 votes
4 answers
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In North America, is it normal to address children you don't know as "honey"?

From Now vaccinated, third grader who asked Joe Biden a question at town hall gets to visit the White House: Biden responded directly to Layla [who is 9 years old, as given in the article], ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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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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Do some Americans in the Midwest pronounce "sorry" similarly to Canadians?

I just listened to the closing arguments from the defense team in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. At one point, Mr. Rittenhouse’s lawyer pronounced the word “sorry” in a way that to my non-native ears ...
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2 votes
4 answers
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Does "I'm not sure" always cast a sense of disapproval? [closed]

I've got a feeling that when I say "I'm not sure if X is Y", people often take that as if I were saying "X is (probably) not Y". Is it a reasonable interpretation? Almost all times ...
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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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-2 votes
1 answer
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Why does "tarrier" as an American job title not appear in OED or Merriam-Webster?

The folksong "Drill Ye Tarriers Drill" is well-known: Wikipedia Drill Ye Tarriers Drill. The title refers to Irish workers, drilling holes in rock to blast out railroad tunnels. It may mean ...
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Does General American English have the evidential predicates "think", "believe", "guess", "reckon", or "have the feeling"?

It's a feature of Southern American English, but does General American English have this feature? Eg: I have the feeling I'm going to go. I guess I'm going to go. I think I'm going to go. I believe I'...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Is America (grammatically) a "constitutional federal republic" or a "federal constitutional republic"?

Grammarly says the adjective federal goes before constitutional, but I'm not sure what type of adjectives federal and constitutional are. Here's what they said: It appears that the modifiers in the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What does the intonation pattern on "online" mean or imply? [closed]

What does the speaker mean or imply with the intonation on "online" at 0:31 around? A negative and doubtful query? Does the intonation pattern on "online" completely fall at the ...
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What is the intonation or pitch pattern of "parties" at 0:30?

I wonder what the intonation or pitch pattern of "parties" at 0:30 around is in the clip? Why does the stress seem to fall on the both syllables, "par" and "ties"? While ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Not everything is about you [closed]

What does it actually mean when people say "Not everything is about you." when they use it?
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What does the idiom 'It is noon in New York' mean in Chicago? [closed]

I do not have a context for the idiom. All I know it is from/related to Chicago. I did not find this idiom online.
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How do I pronounce names that end with "t" in the standard American dialect?

For example, how do I pronounce the "t" in "Robert"? (Assuming nothing is said after it, or the thing after it starts with a consonant) Is it a half-stop "t" or a regular ...
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15 votes
10 answers
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If I cannot win, then I will make it impossible for you to win

We have a joke about a foreigner that went to a wet market in zone 1 and saw a farmer selling live frogs in an open basket. As we all know, frogs jump. Actually, they jump about quite a bit when in a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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New Year's what?

I have often noticed that Americans say "New Years" - and wondered why it was plural. But just reading Obama's biography I've noticed for the first time it is spelled with an apostrophe. ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Is "each's" a word? [closed]

I've looked, and while there does not seem to be any truly legitimate sources out there on the web that support "each's" being proper grammar. Opposing that, Google Docs does not put a wavy ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is Skinn & Sheer in the Ambrose Bierce fable: The Rainmaker?

In the tale of Ambrose Bierce - The Rainmaker it is said the following: hat is a pretty good joke," said the Reporter, laughing as well as he could in the strangling rain - "a mule driver's ...
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1 vote
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American English: "Should have came ..."

So I'm watching Palmer, and Coles, a white, middle-class US American male, just said I shoulda came and visited you (refering to Palmer, who got out of prison earlier that week). The movie plays in ...
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1 vote
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the meaning of these reading (Neither and Nor)

What is the meaning of the sentence in bold? How might this inability to recall early experiences be explained? The sheer passage of time does not account for it; adults have excellent recognition of ...
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2 answers
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Confusion about an email reply [closed]

I am an undergraduate student. I was applying to transfer to another university. I wrote to a university official requesting some information, and here is the conversation: Me: ask if the college ...
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2 votes
1 answer
247 views

Pronunciation of /æ/, when it comes before /m/ or /n/

I believe when /æ/ comes before m or n , it’s pronounced [ɛə] instead of [æ], (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki//%C3%A6/_raising) but is it always the case?For example, how about the main stress is not ...
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4 votes
3 answers
246 views

What is the term for subconsciously doing something that you think you're dreaming

A friend of mine has been having these weird bouts of subconscious life interruptions. Not sure how to explain it correctly, that's why I'm here, I've researched it but I don't know how to explain it ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Slang: "To have a twenty on me"

So I was listening to a song (bülow - Own me), and there's this one line that I can't really understand. Which is "Got nothing but a twenty on me", and I can't really understand what it's ...
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1 vote
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What's it means "yes validate just the what" [closed]

I asked my mentor "Do I need to validate the filed if it's type is required?” And he answered "Yes validate just the what" What's that means? It it means yes I should validate it? Or ...
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4 votes
2 answers
610 views

What is the origin of the word "wash" to mean a net gain of zero?

"Wash" A situation in which gains and losses balance each other This appears to be informal North American usage. What is the origin of this use of "wash" to mean a net gain of zero?
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1 answer
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What are the rules for using “to” with can and want?

Trying to explain to my Spanish-speaking friend the use of can vs. want, I realize I have no idea of rules for the use of "to". Sometimes it's used, sometimes not, I know what sounds right but I don't ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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"I'm asking you to middle a diamond"

In the movie Donnie Brasco, Al Pacino shows a jeweler a diamond and tells him "I'm asking you to middle a diamond for me here." What does it mean "to middle"? I cannot found 'middle' as a verb ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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I don't understand what a character says in a TV programme

I'm a non-native English speaker and English is my second language. I've been watching an episode of one of my favourite children's TV programmes for a minute and I already don't understand what one ...
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1 vote
1 answer
113 views

What is the meaning of "Falcon Friday"?

The term Falcon Friday was found on deviantArt Twitter and later found constantly used in academic domain, like in universities, what is the meaning of Falcon Friday when an university management use ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Social Distance vs Social Distancing

Quick question. Are there any differences between these two words? Social Distance Social Distancing What I understand from the first one is Social( ADJ ) + Distance (N). I do not understand why ...
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0 votes
2 answers
127 views

How often do you use 'nowadays' vs 'these days' in your dialect?

I would say that in South Africa, nowadays is rather quaint; something that perhaps Boomers and older or second language speakers would use. Unfortunately, I cautioned a student nearly a year ago ...
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1 vote
0 answers
680 views

What do you call the open area outside of a building as depicted in the picture?

I find it hard to name the place other than "an open area outside of a building." It doesn't matter if it is in the front or on any other side of the building.
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1 vote
1 answer
87 views

Formal/ legal term for "enforcer"

What is a more formal way to refer to someone acting as an "enforcer"? A landlord has a tenant who acts as his unofficial "enforcer" towards other tenants (and often times for no good reason). He ...
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0 votes
2 answers
324 views

What is the negative connotation of 'great'?

We call a well known actor, a 'famous' actor. Yet a well known criminal is called a 'notorious' criminal. In similar vein, a popular leader would be called a 'great' leader. But what would you call ...
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0 answers
31 views

Is this a compound or sentence fragment?

Given the following sentence: "As if she lived in a castle and her favourite princes and princesses had just dropped by to visit" Is this a compound or sentence fragment?
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1 vote
2 answers
205 views

I will show them the 'job of Bronx' [closed]

Rocco Commisso is the Italian-American owner of the New York Cosmos and Fiorentina FC. Italian journalists made fun of his funny Italian accent, and he responded saying this: I know that lots of ...
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0 votes
2 answers
165 views

You will vs you must [closed]

With it being a direct order with out a choice. Is it written You will pay for your sins. Or You must pay for your sins. Will seems stronger as You will no matter what. Where you must just ...
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1 vote
0 answers
1k views

Is "this is different than before" valid US English for "this is different from before"? [duplicate]

I have many times heard James Rolfe and Mike Matei (the video content producers), who I believe both grew up in New Jersey or in the city Pennsylvania, say things such as: Blablabla. This is ...
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1 vote
2 answers
174 views

Is it "bad" to try and learn southern American English? [closed]

I have always been really interested in south American life style, culture, and specially language, a while back, I asked a professional American English teacher, about if it was OK to try and learn ...
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2 votes
1 answer
275 views

American English: Gliding of the long "ee" sound: [i] to [ɪi]

I have noticed that Americans have (broadly speaking) two ways of pronouncing the long "ee" vowel as in "fleece". A simple [i] that ends with the same quality it starts with: listen to user ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
5k views

Meaning of "that's fine" in modern American English when used as an answer to a question

I'm trying to understand (spoken) modern American English. Here's an example of my exchange: Me: Thank you for your payment. Would you like me to email you receipt? Respondent: All right. That's fine....
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3 votes
2 answers
120 views

First use of American football fields as measurement

In some books and documentaries, American football fields are used as units of measurement for length (100 yards) and sometimes area. For example, a book might say The iceberg was the size of six ...
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13 votes
8 answers
6k views

'Cheddar goes "good" with burgers?' Can "go" be seen as a verb of the senses?

I know that the adverb modifies a verb except for in some limited cases such as verbs of the senses or copula. "It tastes good.", not "It tastes well." "It looks good.", ...
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