Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

This tag is for questions specifically related to the English language as spoken and written in the USA. If you are interested in a difference between American English and British English, please use transatlantic-differences.

0
votes
0answers
34 views

What does “signature holidays” mean?

I found this expression in a book but I don't understand what it means. A man never takes vacations from work. Here's the complete sentence, with some more context: She couldn't remember him [...
-1
votes
0answers
12 views

defecating on a toilet or in a toilet

I've seen both being used, but I am not sure if either one of them is the natural way of putting this silly idea that everyone does. Also, how do you decide between on and in, because both of them can ...
-1
votes
1answer
21 views

stick it up your a**

Is there a reason why, we use "up" and not "in". I always thought it wasn't intuitive to use "up", is there a semantic reason, or is it "cultural" or "historical"? Can someone explain, so that a non-...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Whats the difference between establish rules, introduce rules [on hold]

What's the difference between establish rules and introduce rules.
1
vote
1answer
21 views

Type of usage in this example/accuracy

After entering the fountain of youth, she was now young not old. After entering the fountain of youth, she was now young and not old. Are both these ok. Any difference? Can you leave out the comma ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Can someone explain if this makes sense? [on hold]

For example, you probably have various reason to study English than your classmates.
1
vote
2answers
51 views

“I'll never pray to a God since my butt issues”

I'll never pray to a God since my butt issues. The usage of 'since' drew my attention and puzzled me. I don't understand why it was used here and whether it was a substitute for either 'because of'...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

How does a phrase differ from a clause

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/price_is_right Is this a phrase or clause. How do they differ aside from active verb. A group of words that is part of, rather than the whole of, a sentence A phrase ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

What would you say in the following situation?

You are at a picnic and you want to advise others to keep the place clean: 1- you had better clean the place before you leave 2- you must clean the place before you leave. From what I know, ‘had ...
2
votes
2answers
56 views

Difference between “Have you ever married?” and “Have you ever been married?”

What is difference between Have you ever married? and Have you ever been married?
0
votes
0answers
17 views

What is the grammar of “helped get me organized”?

In the following sentence, what is the grammatical structure of "helped get me organized"? The review sessions always helped get me organized for the test.
1
vote
2answers
41 views

What does “withdraw into” mean? [closed]

What does "withdraw into" mean in the following sentence? Many depressed people just withdraw into themselves.
1
vote
2answers
40 views

What's the meaning of “get down” in this sentence?

In the novel I'm reading there's a sentence I don't understand. A power outage had darkened most of the city, and he had driven over to bring her a battery-powered space heater. “It’ll get ...
0
votes
2answers
36 views

A second-generation vs a mixed-race

I'm Ten, and my father is a Chinese, and my mother is a Japanese. I'm the second-generation Japanese or the mixed-race Japanese and raised between a Chinese father (from Shenzhen) and a Japanese ...
-1
votes
0answers
16 views

Present perfect without specific time and past simple without specific time

I hear many songs and I see movies Include past simple sentences without Specific time like 1: I met him . And in another one I have met him I learn American English conversation So I have ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Is the word liberal used properly in this sentence

A friend once told me, when you're lost you're liberal and when you're liberal you can go anywhere Is "liberal" used properly here?
0
votes
1answer
23 views

Type of usage in these examples?

*That feeling you get when your kid won't let you do your housework. Me stressed at the thought of tonights traffic.* What do we call these types of sentences that commonly come with a picture or ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Can you help me answer some questions about using the word “The”?

I. In the following sentences, I know that I should repeat "they", "they", "she", "he" and "it" instead of using "the " in the second part. But can I use 'the + noun' if I introduce something using ...
0
votes
2answers
34 views

What is a «bracket» in this context?

I can't understand the meaning of «bracket» in this sentence. A mechanic is fixing a car whose filter is broken. Here is the complete text (it's an american novel): She unscrewed the cap of the ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Is this sentence “Horses are a useful animal.” correct?

I know a lot of people would say the correct sentence is “Horses are useful animals.” But I think we can say “Computers are an important research tool.”, so I think we can say “Horses are a useful ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Subject-Complement Agreement

Take the sentence (1)“The boy is a hardworking student.” The words “a hardworking student” are the complement. There’s no agreement problem in that sentence, it's all singular;(2)“These people are my ...
1
vote
3answers
109 views

“I like bananas” vs “I like a banana”

In English grammar, ‘generic reference’ is used when you make a reference to all the members of a class of people or things . So I can say "A lizard is like a dinosaur in appearance" and "Lizards are ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Is present or past perfect tense choice correct? [closed]

I'm one of ESL students, Pervasive Developmental Disorder English learner. I had stayed for a month in Los Angeles since I was 17. Our native-English teacher at the PDD support school told us that ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Pronunciation of “marry” and “carry” in American English [closed]

Should I use "a" as in "map" or "e" as in "pet"? Merriam-Webster says both ways are ok.
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Stress in words like confluence, influence, finance - noun vs verb

I'm looking for a right way to stress words ending in -fluence in American English. There should be a change of stress depending on whether it's used a noun or verb. Also, in "finance" I stress the ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Dropping auxiliary verbs when asking questions

I hear many native speakers dropping auxiliary verbs when asking questions. For instance, I hear them saying "How you doing?". Another example that came up to my ear recently: in the gym, I hear many ...
1
vote
1answer
19 views

Adding a `-` between word, will the word still have same meaning?

Adding a - between word, will the word still have same meaning? Example re-open or reopen re-install or reinstall
3
votes
2answers
104 views

Why does “confirm me” or “reply me” sound so incorrect to me?

Is it correct to say "Please confirm me" or "Please reply me as soon as possible" in a context where I am asking for a confirmation or reply (like in an email)? I am a native American English speaker ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

midnight oil runs the engine of growth - What does this expression mean?

I'm reading a book and just found this phrase: "midnight oil runs the engine of growth". What does it mean? I've googled for it and didn't find a definition. It seems it's just an old saying and it'...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Value of sentences with or without antecedent

Our politicians have been pandering again. This demotivates the voters. - Entire first sentence as antecedent When we take the bolded sentence away from its antecedent, where does that leave it ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Which is correct “I work nights” or “I work at night”

I have learned that the correct form is "I work at night". Recently, I saw a movie and one of the characters mentioned "I work nights", Is there any difference between them? Or which one is correct?
0
votes
2answers
20 views

Which one is correct “What to say and what not to” or “what to say and what to not”

In short sentences like these : "What to say and what not to" or "what to say and what to not" and "What to buy and what to not" which one is correct?
0
votes
1answer
21 views

Type of clause and correct usage in this example

It follows two sisters— one is devoted to her faith, the other breaks the community's strict rules. What would we class this type of clause ? (one is this, the other is this) What part is the main ...
2
votes
3answers
49 views

“The old jive broad split” meaning - Bill Withers Song (Ain't no Sunshine)

"The old jive broad split" It's a part of what Bill Withers says at the beginning of "Ain't no sunshine". It's a part of the story behind this song. But it lacks everything. I have absolutely no ...
4
votes
0answers
58 views

How to improve listening/speaking if learned mostly by reading/writing? [closed]

My first language is Spanish and I learned English mostly by reading/writing in academics and professional context but few listening and speaking practice. I got a job abroad and after 2 months I ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

Does the “ass” in “smart-ass”, “lard ass” etc. mean “smart donkey” or “smart butt”?

What's the literal meaning of ‘ass’ in expressions like ‘lard-ass’, ‘hard-ass’, ‘smart-ass’,… etc.? Does ass here in such expressions mean donkey or butt?
1
vote
2answers
75 views

“Cavaliers are”, “Lakers are”, “Knicks are” etc. VS “Cavaliers is”, “Lakers is”, “Knicks is” etc. (American English)

As far as I know, in American English, we can see singular team names as either plural or singular. So, "Golden State are the best team in the NBA" and "Golden State is the best team in the NBA" are ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

American pronunciation of (tall, taught, law, bought) vs (father, pasta, drop)

I have two tutorials by Cook and by Cameron. Cameron suggests that these two groups are pronounced differently: e.g. in "drop" the tongue is perfectly flat, but in "jaw" it goes up by 1/8 of an inch. ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

How can I improve my level in English listening? [closed]

Hi I am not speaking English originally but I'm trying to learn it, I need tips to improve English listening Please help
0
votes
1answer
59 views

What is the right way of asking someone to give a more detailed explanation of what he just said (or wrote)?

I was told something and now I want to get a more detailed explanation of what the person just said (or wrote). For example, the person wrote to me: The key difference between the two definitions ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

“when I’m 100% confirm what to study” or “when I'm 100% confirmed what to study”

I’ll tell you when I’m 100% confirm what to study Or: I’ll tell you when I'm 100% confirmed what to study Which one is correct?
0
votes
1answer
90 views

What does “you took long mate” means? [closed]

In SMS messages: You took long mate Abit too much What does “you took long mate” “abit too much” mean?
1
vote
1answer
106 views

What do you call the hanging sections on the sides of someone with long hair?

I'm referring to this: At first, I thought they could be called bangs. But according to Google it's only the head above the forehead: a fringe of hair cut straight across the forehead. So ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Song lyric accuracy/ type of usage

There are lots of questions on this forum concerning song lyrics, but mine is related to English also. 1980's song China in your Hand has the line- It was a theme she had on a scheme he had Question:...
0
votes
3answers
74 views

Can we say “The sound of what is this?” or “This is the sound of what?” (American English)

In American English, can we say either of these sentences interchangeably? The sound of what is this? This is the sound of what? Context: Imagine I heard a sound at home which sounds like it ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Past simple or present perfect for “I am aware of what I [did/have done]”?

Is the following correct: I am aware of what I did. Or, is it supposed to be: I am aware of what I've done. Can someone explain?
0
votes
2answers
69 views

What's the meaning of “Bought it up”

I heard this phrase from a TV show. We thought you bought it up there. The background is that Mike who is injured in an accident and come back to his friends, one of them said "we thought you ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

What's the meaning of “Is it now?”

Can anyone explain the meaning of "Is it now" to me? I googled this phrase, but I couldn't find the answer out...I heard this from a TV show: Maggie: Mail's here, telephone bill, letter from your ...
0
votes
0answers
13 views

What is the best way to remember causality verb and how to identify it easily anywhere? [closed]

I am getting a bit to confuse while considering whether it is causality verb? I need some help/tips to detect it easily as well any similar topic like causality verb which resembles to it.
1
vote
2answers
146 views

Can't we say “don't/doesn't got” while we can say “I got”, “He got”, “They got” etc.? (American English)

I am used to hearing the positive version of "got" when it is used for meaning "have". For example, I mean we can say "I got a car.", "He got three children.", "I got no money." etc. But I am not ...