Skip to main content
59 votes
Accepted

Is English really a non-tonal language?

Sorry is still the word sorry no matter your intonation, though it may have different meanings in context. In a tonal language, say Mandarin Chinese, it would be an entirely different written form ...
DW256's user avatar
  • 9,300
52 votes

Is English really a non-tonal language?

You seem to be confusing intonation with tonality. English definitely has intonation (pretty much all natural languages do), but it is not a tonal language. Tonal languages use tonality for either ...
Austin Hemmelgarn's user avatar
45 votes
Accepted

Naturalness of expressions like "Me and Adam have discovered ....." in conversational English

Using "me" (or indeed other object pronouns) like this generally considered to be grammatically incorrect, because a subject pronoun ("I") should be used as subject of the verb. In ...
phhu's user avatar
  • 523
37 votes

What is the sentence that is said before the real statement, to let the other person know what is coming, called?

It's called a preamble. Preamble noun 1 A preliminary or preparatory statement; an introduction: he could tell that what she said was by way of a preamble [mass noun]: I gave him the bad news ...
Lawrence's user avatar
  • 38.8k
36 votes
Accepted

What is the sentence that is said before the real statement, to let the other person know what is coming, called?

Preamble is accurate; however, I believe in casual conversation that preface would be more usual. preface noun 2 : the introductory remarks of a speaker or author (Merriam-Webster) It is often ...
1006a's user avatar
  • 22.9k
32 votes

What is the appropriate phrase to say if two people are on the same track?

"Making sure we are on the same page." would be even better than the options you mentioned. Although I don't think your suggestions would be misunderstood, what I have suggested is a more common way ...
thomj1332's user avatar
  • 4,356
26 votes
Accepted

Word for heavily foreign-influenced speech?

For the language phenomenon where the English language is heavily influenced by another language, a portmanteau term combined from the name of two languages is used. In your specific example, it is ...
ermanen's user avatar
  • 63.3k
22 votes

Do "cook the" and "cooked the" get pronounced differently?

The pronunciation can vary with the English accent of the speaker. While many may pronounce "cook" and "cooked" followed by "the" in the same manner, as an EN_AU speaker, ...
traktor's user avatar
  • 1,045
20 votes

How do you say "powers of ten"?

I express 3^4 as “three to the fourth power” You can say “base to the nth power” or “base to the power of n” It’s important to have the whole sentence to determine if it makes mathematical sense.
JTP - Apologise to Monica's user avatar
20 votes

How do you say "powers of ten"?

While "ten to the power of two" is correct (and the "power" does indeed refer to the "two" in this construction), it's also possible and very common to drop the "power of", giving "ten to the two". ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 21.8k
16 votes

Do "cook the" and "cooked the" get pronounced differently?

John Lawler in a comment wrote: In practice, there is no difference in pronunciation and the addressee is expected to infer the tense, if necessary. Tense is not very important in English (there's ...
tchrist's user avatar
  • 136k
16 votes

Help Fixing Yoda-like Sentence Structure?

I don’t think there is anything wrong with either sentence for each number, honestly. Both pairs are grammatical, although for the second pair the meaning is slightly different because in the first ...
meepyer's user avatar
  • 708
16 votes
Accepted

What part of speech is 'really' when it is spoken in a sentence on its own?

As a “part of speech,” it’s just an adverb. really adverb2 & adjective 2. Used parenthetically. 2.b. Interrogatively, expressing surprise or doubt. 1753– [selected attestations] 1893   She ...
Tinfoil Hat's user avatar
  • 17.8k
15 votes
Accepted

What's the origin of the second-person 'we'?

This is often called the "patronizing we", among other names (see this answer of mine for more details on its names). According to the Oxford English Dictionary's page for "we" (pron., n., and adj.), ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 66.6k
15 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between "nearly drowned" and "nearly rescued"?

Nearly drowned means you almost died by means of drowning, but did not drown. This means you survived. Nearly rescued means you almost were saved by a third-party, but were not saved. This means you ...
Veskah's user avatar
  • 306
12 votes
Accepted

What does camping on foods mean in American English?

As commenters have noted, camping is used in a number of contexts to mean something related to staying put. The best clue in this dialogue to which meaning is right in this context is, "I think you'...
Juhasz's user avatar
  • 7,553
12 votes

How do you say "powers of ten"?

The term power refers to the exponent, not to the base. 10 to the power 2 is 100. However powers of 10 are the products obtained from raising 10 by various exponents. So again, power does not ...
Weather Vane's user avatar
  • 21.4k
11 votes

Usage of "Don't remember"

The first one is simply wrong. The second is grammatically correct but very awkward. You would say "I don't remember ever watching that film." and "I've never watched that film in my life." ...
Max Williams's user avatar
  • 23.1k
11 votes
Accepted

What does "I’ll show you to [somewhere]" mean?

The meaning of "show" here is number four, meaning "to guide, escort, or usher." An usher in a theater might show you to your seats. A bellboy in a hotel might show you to your room. In your ...
KarlG's user avatar
  • 28.2k
10 votes
Accepted

Is 'Thanks for your trouble' a common phrase?

Yes, "Thanks for your trouble" or "Thank you for your trouble" is a very common phrase (In fact I use it quite often). It doesn't mean He is creating the trouble, it is you who is ...
Rio1210's user avatar
  • 966
10 votes
Accepted

Is there a term for "non-words" like "ha", "ugh", "huh", etc?

They are exclamations. Exclamation: a word that expresses sudden pain, surprise, anger, excitement, happiness, or other emotion: "Ouch," "hey," and "wow" are ...
user 66974's user avatar
  • 67.5k
10 votes

Is there a term for "non-words" like "ha", "ugh", "huh", etc?

Aren't they interjections? According to the Wikipedia article, this category includes exclamations and hesitation markers as well.
user_d934462's user avatar
9 votes

What is the appropriate phrase to say if two people are on the same track?

In addition to "on the same page" (which was my first thought) as already mentioned, you can also use "in sync" or "in agreement". making sure we are in sync making sure we are in agreement ODO: ...
alwayslearning's user avatar
9 votes

How do I read aloud a range of years with a slash?

Say During the two thousand two two thousand three season. The purpose of the slash here is not to convey information, but simply to separate the two numbers so it doesn't look like 20022003. The ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 26.1k
9 votes

What part of speech is 'really' when it is spoken in a sentence on its own?

The PoS here is Interjection. Per Wiktionary: (informal) Indicating surprise at, or requesting confirmation of, some new information; to express skepticism. A: He won the Nobel Prize yesterday. B: ...
user405662's user avatar
  • 9,834
9 votes

What part of speech is 'really' when it is spoken in a sentence on its own?

I You can run a hundred meters in 13 seconds. Really ? In this first paragraph, "really" is categorized as a content disjunct (one of the four categories of adverbials in A Comprehensive ...
LPH's user avatar
  • 22.3k
8 votes

Is there a term for "non-words" like "ha", "ugh", "huh", etc?

Linguistically, they can be called vocables: a sound that is used in a particular language, especially one that is not considered a word, for example a sound such as "la" used in music or an ...
hobbs's user avatar
  • 1,791
8 votes

Naturalness of expressions like "Me and Adam have discovered ....." in conversational English

I think the reason this causes confusion is that children are often corrected without explaining why. For example: a child says “Me and Pete are going to play a game.”  This is wrong, so they they're ...
gidds's user avatar
  • 2,775
7 votes

Non-standard British use of possessive "me"

This is a complicated matter. There exists an unstressed form of my which, because of normal vowel reduction of unstressed syllables, is variously pronounced [mi ~ mɪ ~ mɨ ~ mə] without the normal ...
tchrist's user avatar
  • 136k
7 votes
Accepted

'I says' in spoken English

While "I says" appears often in spoken, informal speech, it is also often used as an example of extremely (excessively?) casual language -- almost a stereotype of a relaxed storytelling mode in which ...
JeremyDouglass's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible