Questions tagged [north-american-english]

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

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28 views

Meaning of the following 'dialogue' from a movie

Can anyone explain what does this dialogue from a movie called 'Scott Pilgrim vs the world' means? "Sometimes I let him do my wide shots, when I feel like gettin' blazed back in my Winnie" ...
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0answers
20 views

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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2answers
73 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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1answer
37 views

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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1answer
61 views

“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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50 views

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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1answer
35 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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1answer
75 views

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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2answers
54 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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64 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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1answer
68 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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2answers
65 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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26 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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2answers
113 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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2answers
83 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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0answers
142 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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2answers
104 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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1answer
83 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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1answer
662 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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2answers
89 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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8answers
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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1answer
3k views

How to use “get to” and “got to”?

This question is related to these two posts (please read those answers too): "Get to do something" What is difference between GOT TO and HAVE TO For example: "I got to spend time with my ...
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1answer
71 views

Usage of Comma to remove ambiguity

Soon after the military operations, an 11 member committee headed by Mr. ABC was set up to suggest measures that would enhance the combat capability of the armed forces and to also, balance defence ...
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2answers
58 views

Still usage and despite suggestion [closed]

I have this sentence: I fell in love with coding, but still I was not able to decide whether it is something possible as a career. Is the structure correct?
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2answers
471 views

What’s wrong with saying “he has his mind in the right mindset?”

My friend says its gramatically incorrect, what do you guys think?
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1answer
5k views

Is this correct in American English: It has helped me developed

I've come across a brief overview about a Canadian sales representative that says : I grew-up in a family business specializing in short-term rental accommodations. Our resort, Tyrolean Village ...
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1answer
249 views

“laying it out there”

"The child is not mine. I found out through one of her friends." "Why hasn't she told you?" "I don't know. I guess she just felt more comfortable not laying it out there." "You must be angry." "I ...
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1answer
148 views

Why is there a US idiom of using China to mean far away?

I live in the UK, and a lot of US culture reaches us in the form of film and TV. There seems to be a trope of referring to something as being in China to mean it's a long way away. Things like: "I'...
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2answers
533 views

Why do some Americans pronounce K and B after vowels sounds like G and P

For example, ‘speaker’ sounds like ‘speager’ and ‘Stop it’ sounds like ‘stob it’.
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0answers
487 views

Final /s/ vs /z/ sound at the end of verbs/nouns issue [duplicate]

So, I've seen this rule at several English books about how if a word has a voiced final sound (e.g. r, voiced th, l, m, n..) then added 's' is pronounced more like /z/. If the final sound is voiceless ...
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5answers
156 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 ...
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1answer
43 views

What's this “Jl. Sg.” appended to a name in the Social Register?

Screenshotted from the (fictitious) "1929 Social Register" in the opening sequence of the film Down to Their Last Yacht (1934). "Miss Linda Colt-Stratton" I get, but what's the "Jl. Sg." after her ...
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1answer
99 views

What are the feminine equivalents of “Running mate”?

From Wikipedia: In the United States, "running mate" refers not only to a candidate for vice president (federal), but also to a candidate for lieutenant governors of those states where the ...
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4answers
448 views

What is/are the synonym/s for 'to move to sit closer to someone'?

I have a couple of things in mind, but I'm not sure if they can be applied to sitting position. For example, if I'm sitting on the other end of the couch, and then I move to sit closer to someone ...
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3answers
51 views

Expressing “with a higher variance” as an adjective

Is it possible to express has a higher variance in the sentence Dataset A has a higher variance than dataset B as an adjective? Would Dataset A is more variable than dataset B be the ...
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1answer
85 views

Stove, Cooker, Range, Oven, Hob

Whenever we go to Canada, we go self catering. Usually the cooker (English word for the combination of an oven with gas or electric burners on top which can be used when cooking with saucepans) we had ...
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1answer
21 views

“Stay on us for this” [closed]

In response to "Thank you. Much appreciated" Reply was "Please stay on us for this" What is the exact meaning of this response.
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1answer
51 views

Co-pay vs copartnership: Prefix hyphenation in AmE

In AmE, we tend to close up prefixes like co-, re-, pre-, post-, etc. unless the first letter of the main word is the same vowel as the last letter of the prefix. But I see some exceptions like ...
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0answers
731 views

over the years/thoughout the years/for years

What are the cases in which each of those is used? Can you give more detailed examples and differences in meaning and usage than the ones I found below if there are any? Here's what Google says: ...
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7answers
5k views

What is a small tent kind of shop on the side of the road called?

What is a small tent kind of shop on the side of the road called? It can sell stuff like newspapers, snacks, coffee, and other small things. The only two things that come to mind are "a hot dog stand"...
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1answer
944 views

Does “throw a leg over” means “riding a horse” or “sexual intercourse”?

Now anyone reading this article - http://mentalfloss.com/article/31841/why-new-york-city-called-big-apple and especially this line from that: "The Big Apple. The dream of every lad that ever threw a ...
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1answer
71 views

Why it is “the Grinch” but not just Grinch as it's his personal name

We don't use the definite article with personal names, however here....why is it so? Yeah, I know sometimes we can use "the". When it's a person everybody knows about or smth like that. But why it'...
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0answers
60 views

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday!

Sources available on line say that the expression “Cyber Monday” is just a few years old, dating its coinage to 2005: The term "Cyber Monday" was dreamt up in 2005 by a marketing team at Shop.org,...
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0answers
72 views

Vowel shift in Michigan accent?

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Michigan because my grandparents live there. By today’s standards, they have very heavy accents, with full Canadian raising and the northern cities vowel shift. ...
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1answer
522 views

question about meaning of `off-service`

There is a sentence in an article which says : "Workers are hard-pressed to finish work during a tight off-service window". Can anyone explain my questions : 1. does *tight off-service* mean *tight ...
4
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1answer
85 views

Young native-speaking males emphasizing deep voices

Recently a possibly new speech pattern has come to my attention and I am wondering whether it is genuine or whether I am mistaken. It is young, male native speakers emphasizing a deep, "rough" voice. ...
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5answers
4k views

How infrequent is “a non-zero chance”?

I misinterpreted the expression “a non-zero chance” as an emphatic way to stress that there was no possibility or likelihood of something happening. there is a non-zero chance that they will pay ...
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1answer
234 views

Is the voicing voiceless consonants common in the US?

I don't know if I should trust my non-native ears, but I've heard a couple of people (Katie from CollegeHumor is the first one come to mind) who say "thank you" with a voiced "th" instead of the ...
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4answers
303 views

Idiom for premonition

I am trying to remember an idiom that is used when someone has a premonition about something, often coincidentally i.e. I am thinking about someone and then they call me. I know there is the ...
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1answer
46 views

Go and come as verbs and the ommitting of and

I have a question relating to the verbs "come" and "go" plus another verb. Why do americans say come sing with us (for example and not come AND sing with us (as is the norm in English English. Like ...

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