Questions tagged [north-american-english]

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

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33 views

Same here - should I use this word with my friends and boss? [closed]

Hey i came from google I was surf in google and found this american English slang word: Same here - I agree my question is: is correct to say this expression in american USA with your friends ...
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2answers
49 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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23 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
109 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
74 views

You will vs you must

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
60 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
84 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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0answers
31 views

arbitrary and capricious

The fixed phrase arbitrary and capricious (sometimes arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion) is a cliché of US law; you're likely to find it in any litigation to undo an administrative act. ...
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1answer
51 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
119 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'...
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2answers
87 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.", not "It looks well." ...
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1answer
683 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
45 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
46 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
250 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
3k 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
94 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
132 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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1answer
243 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
287 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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3answers
77 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
34 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
77 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
243 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
48 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
71 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
49 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
395 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
639 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
68 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
58 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
63 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
409 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
81 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
2k 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 ...
2
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1answer
208 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
257 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
43 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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2answers
1k views

Is the expression “jam-packed” of American origin?

I came across this expression at random, and when reading its definition and reading it in within context, it struck me as a particularly American thing to say. When trying to confirm my suspicion, I ...
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2answers
705 views

What are the names of the two phonetic changes in this sentence?

I'm going to be teaching English to French high school students for another year in September, and they all have a hard time with my variety of English (they're used to hearing British English). ...
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3answers
1k views

The meaning and usage of ‘stiffs’ in “Of Mice and Men”

I would really appreciate it if someone could confirm whether I have interpreted correctly the meaning of “stiffs” in the following excerpt “I had enough,” he said angrily. “You ain't wanted here. ...
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3answers
2k views

“The cat that got the cream” - is there any innuendo?

I think this is a British idiom. The American version would be, "The cat that killed the canary." I was about to say this to a female friend, intended as a "well done" sort of compliment, ...
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1answer
5k views

initialised or initialized which one is correct spelling? [duplicate]

I have often seen initialised in lots of text, but when I want to write it in Microsoft office word, it says it was misspelled and it should be initialized instead of initialised. so here is my ...
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2answers
2k views

“There is a woman with a snapper.”

So far, I haven't found a clue to this use of the word "snapper" (1851) to describe an energetic, irrepressibly attractive woman at any of the 19th century slang websites so far. Here is part of the ...
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5answers
2k views

Do native speakers of major English varieties actually say “a software” or “softwares”?

So I've looked up the word "software" around, and I've learned that -ware words are uncountable, and there's even a claim at the Wiktionary entry for this word that "a software" or "softwares" are a ...
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1answer
3k views

“How long do you have” — what does it mean?

"How long do you have?" -- What does that mean? The conversation regards my potential trip to another country to visit someone. It means how long I want to stay there? Or How many time I (will) ...
4
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1answer
200 views

Accented syllable after a glottal stop in NA English

Does anyone know of any studies on the change in use of accenting after a glottal stop? I am in my late 40s, and first heard this maybe 10 years ago used by an adult. I have a nephew who is 11, and it ...

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