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Questions tagged [speech]

Questions about spoken English.

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2answers
99 views

Why you're laughing vs Why are you laughing? [duplicate]

Recently I was talking to my friend in English. He started laughing and I asked him Why you're laughing man? Someone told me you should say Why are you laughing? and this one is totally wrong. I got ...
3
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1answer
207 views

Origin of the phrase “What's crackin'?”

My web search turns up accounts of it being Southern, Black American or/and Aussie slang. Would like some clarification on this.
1
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1answer
6k views

Should I use speech marks for sounds?

If I were to describe a sudden sound, in this example: Boom! Were I to put it in speech marks: "Boom!" Just like in a dialogue, or to do something else, in that case what?
2
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1answer
564 views

What do you call the process of formally addressing someone by using honorifics?

My native language is Macedonian, and in my language, we have a special term that describes the process of formally addressing someone. The idea is that you treat that person in plural instead of in ...
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1answer
8k views

Differences between “frank” and “honest”

I found a lot of people say "Frankly" or "To be frank" while the others say "Honestly" or "To be honest". I know both of them mean that sb. is going to say sth. which is true in a direct manner. But, ...
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0answers
36 views

What are the constraints on people adding 's or -es when pronouncing brand names

People sometimes add an 's (I can't be bothered with the IPA, but you know what I mean) when pronouncing brand names. Let's be even more specific and narrow it down to names of shops. Example: ...
2
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6answers
1k views

Should I pause before or after the “that” of an object clause?

For example, if I want to pause in speech, which way is better: I {a very long adverb phrase} realized | that English is so useful but not easy to master. or I {a very long adverb phrase} ...
3
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1answer
67 views

A word for a person who looks evaluates jewels for their authenticity and purity

In everyday spoken English, what do you call a person to whom you take your ornaments or jewels and he tells you whether or not the ornaments or the jewel are real, and also how pure the jewel is? It'...
2
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4answers
216 views

Does this technique that deals with syllable meters have a name?

On the poem extract below I noticed the following technique and it sounded really familiar, reminding me of punk rock songs and some strong man speeches (I know this is super vague, if I remember any ...
1
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3answers
3k views

spoken exam/speaking exam

Here's the test: We hope you will be able to pass the __________ examination (speak). I'm confused with those two words: "spoken exam" and "speaking exam". I know they say "spoken English exam" and "...
1
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3answers
117 views

Is “you ate?” an acceptable form to ask the question in spoken/informal English?

I've been a part of the discussion on whether it's acceptable to ask someone "You ate?" when meaning to ask "Did you eat?" or "Have you eaten?" and we can't find a definitive answer. We've found some ...
2
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1answer
8k views

“Who is this for?” vs “Who does this belong to?”

Yesterday I asked an Australian friend "Who is this for?" in reference to a wallet on his desk. He laughed and thought my sentence didn't make sense in the context of the situation. Instead, he ...
5
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1answer
63 views

Different words for the personal pronoun “you” in spoken AmE: who uses which?

In American English, quite informally, one will hear different words or phrases for the personal pronoun “you” in its plural form. Perhaps it’s a way of making sure the listener understands you mean ...
7
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5answers
105k views

What are the conventional words for characters (A-Z)?

I have just read the newest post of DOGHOUSEDIARIES, and I am wondering whether the words for characters are fixed in the USA or the UK, as I am not a native English speaker. For example: A as in ...
8
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6answers
8k views

Why is most North American speech rhotic?

Most North American speech is rhotic—why is that? Does it come from the early English settlers or perhaps from the Irish settlers?
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1answer
96 views

Should there be a comma after 'I thought' if this phrase is followed by an italicised thought?

For example, if writing: I thought, she may miss him, but tonight you can't tell. should there be a comma after 'I thought', or any other punctuation for that matter? I know commas are often used ...
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1answer
38 views

“This is what I understand” or “This is how I understand it”, etc

Which one of the following statements is correct or do all of them make sense? System A works independently and does not affect System B. This is what I understand. System A works independently ...
2
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3answers
539 views

Fronting correct use [closed]

I have this phrase (created myself) He was entering into the office slowly / Slowly, he was entering into the office. (there shouldn't be difference I suppose) Now, the rules say that if I have ...
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0answers
84 views

Is there normally a lexicalized loss of phonemic /d/ in the coda of “depends”?

According to a blog article by Steven Norman under the title “My 100 most mispronounced words in English”, the word depends should be /dɪˈpenz/ when “correctly” pronounced. Notice he provides for no ...
5
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1answer
397 views

What word do Americans use for dirt?

I'm aware that in America the word "dirt" is a synonym/replacement for earth/soil/peat/turf.etc whereas in the UK "dirt" would typically refer to uncleanliness, detritus, and granular rubbish (i.e. ...
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0answers
43 views

Which expression is more polite? Could you or can you?

If I can't find something in a grocery, which question is more polite? "Could you tell me where I can find the mouthwash?" or "Can you tell me where I can find the mouthwash?" And I'm not sure "Could ...
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0answers
27 views

Flapped pronunciation of / l /

I've noticed lately the flapped realization of /l/ in AmE, as in the sentence "It's solo" from the song Solo (Clean Bandit feat. Demi Lovato). What are the causes behind this pronunciation?
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2answers
88 views

“first time” as an adverb meaning “for the first time”

Can first time be used as an adverb meaning "for the first time", e.g. when I met him first time (Confession Tapes, third episode, 02:40)
1
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1answer
29 views

Direct speech inside another direct speech [duplicate]

Please, I'm not sure how in American English this "direct speech inside another direct speech" should be written properly. Here it is this sentence: "He was five and a half meters from her and he ...
1
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1answer
190 views

Is saying “X it is” too informal a response for a casual workplace environment? [closed]

When choos­ing be­tween op­tions, peo­ple of­ten say X it is. For ex­am­ple: Dick: What do you want to eat? Jane: I want pizza. Dick: Pizza it is. I am cu­ri­ous whether say­ing X it is is just ...
3
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1answer
408 views

Single noun that encompasses both writer and speaker

While writing and speaking are two different skill sets, they have much in common, and there are many people highly skilled in both. For instance, Garrison Keillor is both an excellent writer and an ...
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1answer
27 views

Can I shorten this speech?

None of these are taken. Can I shorten this above speech like below: None taken. Is this process grammatically right? If it is right then what are the rules behind it?
2
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0answers
29 views

Is there a verb (or group of verbs) to describe someone saying “hmm”?

I'm looking for a verb to replace someone uttering "hmm" or "mmh" or any of its variations. I found this related question (The origin of 'hmm') that hints that "hum" might be a good choice, ...
4
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4answers
6k views

Is “Too Much People” possible when I want to get the feeling of uncountable people?

Of course the rule is countable = many Uncountable = much But I see in some contexts that it's possible to exist this sense when I can't count in a way that it's exaggerated. "There were too much ...
1
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1answer
87 views

Terminology of speaking mannerism

A female relative speaks in a way in which I'm sure there exists a terminology for that particular mannerism. All follow a similar format, with typical examples below Examples: "That's not the way ...
0
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1answer
112 views

Changing of phrasal verbs by tenses [closed]

Probably that is extremely strange question , but can I change pharasal verbs by tenses ? There is no something else information at the most popular resources . For example , break down Past ...
3
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8answers
37k views

Would you say “quote/end quote”?

A girl said, quote, I want a lollipop, end quote, as she walked past the candy store. Would you say it like that out loud?
5
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2answers
11k views

History of the phrase “I was like..” or “I was all…”

When telling a story, it's near essential at some point to state what you said or felt. The younger generation uses phrases "I was like...", OR the similar "I was all...", to express a past state or ...
1
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0answers
57 views

Short phrase for “… for the first time in five years.”

When I did something for the first time in five (or ten, several, etc...) years, is there any phrase to describe the same situation shortly? Sometimes I feel "... for the first time in five years" ...
3
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1answer
47 views

Origin of the phrase ''Respect,man/bro. ''?

Respect bro!! , you never hear anything like ''Fear, man'' or ''honesty, man.'' used in the same sense, its interesting.
3
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4answers
143 views

How did 'phat' come to be used in music as slang?

most prominently things like ''phat bass line'', meaning a bassline rich in texture ie has a full sound. Appears to have originated in African American use?
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0answers
32 views

Pronunciation of the word antisemitic [duplicate]

There seems to be two ways to pronounce antisemitic. I have always pronounced the syllable "sem" to rhyme with "them". I notice that many Americans make it rhyme with "him" and the following syllable "...
2
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2answers
109 views

Do I have to use “I” or “we” when orally presenting my scientific thesis written by a single author? [closed]

I know that in a scientific paper or thesis made by a single author, it is common to use we. (This is also recommended at our university.) But what about when you alone are presenting a thesis work ...
3
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1answer
202 views

Origin of 'cuz' as shortening for cousin?

Detailed answer please and thank you. I see this used a lot among youth. I'm interested to know whether it originated in the Southern US or not?
1
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2answers
187 views

Is there a special word/name/phrase for the money/income generated by student while he is in college? [closed]

Is there a special word/name/phrase for the money/income generated by a student while he is in college by working part time?
1
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1answer
60 views

From where does it look like a “frog” to you? [closed]

Our teacher (she teaches psychology), was telling us about the ink-blot test (used to tell a person's personality). She was asking a girl (who volunteered) a few questions. She said that "it looked ...
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1answer
367 views

Right a wrong & wrong a right [closed]

You can say "right a wrong" & "righting wrongs" But can you say "wrong a right or "wronging rights"
2
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6answers
8k views

What's a Denver accent sound like?

I'm trying to learn to imitate the accent of someone from a slummy area of Denver (for a roleplaying game). Info on different local accents is welcome; a sound bite would be especially useful. If you ...
0
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1answer
17 views

Should I use 'on' or 'for' in these sentences?

If I called the ER about a patient of whom a doctor is taking care, should I say, 'may I speak to the doctor on the patient name John? I have a result on this patient?" or should I use for, "may i ...
1
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1answer
180 views

Another term for “controlled like a puppet”? [closed]

What's another word or phrase for "being controlled like a puppet". eg., "to be manipulated by a more powerful force" . . . what the puppet is enduring?
3
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2answers
365 views

Is “three point ish” an acceptable use of ish?

I recently overheard someone estimating a number as three point ish million when discussing the maximum damages in a law suit. Do native speakers use "ish" in this way? (My gut tells me no.)
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2answers
127 views

Understanding a short speech by the Speaker of the House of Commons from the mid-1600s

Can someone please explain to me the meaning of the middle paragraph here, the direct quote from the Speaker of the House of Commons. I really don't understand what is being meant by it. On 9 ...
2
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2answers
1k views

“My Mom” vs “Mom” Usage

Context My brother and I when having a conversation that refers to our mother usually use "my mom" to refer to her. For example "Have you talked to my mom today?" is a common question we ask. Now the ...
0
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2answers
76 views

when I held the assembly that women are fun I were just lying

"when I held the assembly that women are fun I were just lying" The speaker had previously said so to an assembly of workmates. What does the sentence mean? The sentence can be heard (with the ...
2
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2answers
2k views

How common are “shooken” and “tooken” in spoken speech?

I've been constantly been hearing the non-standard forms "tooken" and "shooken" in many people's spoken speech (particularly in the Northeast of the USA). Does anyone know when these forms originated ...