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Questions tagged [american-english]

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.

8
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2answers
1k views

When to use an article before “reason”

Please help me to understand when should I use an article before reason and when I should not use any article before reason. Examples: (A) I have reason to do this. (B) I have a good reason ...
0
votes
3answers
239 views

I think an article (a/the) has been missing here

I was reading this news on yahoo and I think there should be an article. If you say there should not be then please give me some valid reasons. On yahoo: Question- Importance of body language in ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Can we use “to” before home, if we are using determiners (her, my, your etc.) before home?

I know these sentences are correct: I am going home. I am coming home. I went home. Please let me know, are these sentences also correct or not: I am going to her home. I am ...
4
votes
4answers
590 views

There should be an article (A or The)

I was reading a novel and I think, there is a mistake, they missed an article as per me but I am not sure yet, so putting this here. In the book, it has been written: Destiny, it is way over the ...
4
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2answers
573 views

“The English grammar” or “English grammar”

Should we use definite article (the) before "English grammar". Please tell me which sentence is perfect: Tenses in the English grammar. Tenses in English grammar.
0
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2answers
5k views

Since with had been (the past perfect tense)

Please check the below sentences and let me know, is this correct or not. As per me had been (the past perfect tense) should not be used with since. As per my friend: I had been writing since ...
0
votes
2answers
7k views

What do mean word “being”?

I'm from Russia, and of course my native language is Russian. But I read a lot of English books. And periodically I meet word "being". I think it's like be + ing, but don't fully understand word "...
4
votes
2answers
689 views

How to pronounce “locked out”

How would you say the phrase locked out? I believe the word locked by itself is pronounced with the t sound. So like lock + t. However, I hear people saying it with the d sound, like lock + d out
4
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4answers
4k views

I'm going to the SHOPS vs I'm going to the STORE (UK vs. US)

The day before yesterday I think, my daughter asked me where we were going and since I was not planning to do the weekly shopping on that day and I just wanted to buy some stuff from two stores, I ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

What is my co-worker asking?

My American co-worker sent this to our group chat: Can an undatable man be transformed into a datable man? I am not asking if you think such a thing can be done in real life. I am asking ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

yet and nevertheless together

How is this sentence correct: Running an insurance agency left Charles Ives little time for composition, yet he nevertheless developed a unique musical idiom. Yet and nevertheless cannot be used ...
3
votes
1answer
580 views

How to ask if power is there?

Well, sometimes we are having power cuts in our area. But before looking for other houses we cannot be sure if it's due to a general problem with electrical power, or if it's a problem on our side. So ...
4
votes
2answers
375 views

What does ‘raw’ mean in: “…who did not apprentice himself raw …”

A ballet dancer who did not apprentice himself raw would never expect to perform in Carnegie Hall, and yet untrained, poorly read writers everywhere are scratching down novels with high hopes of ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How to learn English in quick way [closed]

I am not very good with the English language. I have three questions: While talking to others, most of them ask me why I am talking in much too complex a fashion (that is, they are not understanding ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

good talkshows for download [closed]

As I was looking for some good sites for downloading talkshows for improving my English skills, I ran into this website which I thought useful for learning English and maybe preparing for IELTS or ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Problem listening to foreign accents [closed]

From the beginning I had some problems listening to foreign accents. Like when someone from my native country (India) speaks English I understand it at once, but if someone from a foreign country ...
4
votes
1answer
369 views

Interjections for unpleasant surprise?

What are the most common American English interjections for unpleasant surprise? I am particularly interested in finding out their correct spelling.
2
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2answers
50k views

“I wanted you to know that …” is it mean or offensive

I am not a native English speaker. I am writing an email to my boss and I want him to know an important thing, so will it be ok to say "I wanted you to know that ...", it is offensive/mean etc in any ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Can only nouns can be plural in English?

Perhaps this is a silly question, but still: Can only nouns can be plural in English? In other words, the plurality "term" doesn't usually apply to any other part of speech, correct?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Putting the accent on a word when speaking

To put the accent on a word when I am speaking, in Italian I would raise the tone on the accented vowel; raising the tone of accented vowels is normally done when reading an Italian word, but it is ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Pronunciation of “cold” and “code” in American English

In British English the difference is clear, but do these words "cold" and "code" also sound different in American English? If so, how does one make /oʊ/ different from /oʊǀ/? Do the lips round more ...
5
votes
1answer
25k views

Pronunciation of the prefix “anti” in American English

From what I understand, the British pronunciation would be [anti] pretty much everywhere. But in American English I usually hear [antai], although it is mixed up with [anti] from time to time. ...
4
votes
5answers
9k views

“Can you do this?” vs. “Can you please do this?”

When someone asks me Can you do this? I feel that it is missing the “please”. Is “please” already implied by “can”, or is it proper to ask Can you please do this?
4
votes
1answer
930 views

Is “Alien” a term normally used for foreigners?

When used in the context of foreigners, rather than extra-terrestrial beings, is "Alien" commonly used? I suspect that it's only used in legal contexts, such as government forms. But I'm not totally ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

In American English, why is the past tense of “plan” spelt “planned”?

In American English, a lot of words are spelt with a single consonant plus "-ed", rather than two consonants as you often find in British English. Why isn't "plan" spelt with a single consonant?
4
votes
4answers
747 views

Talking at irregular intervals

One of my friend speaks sporadically (that is, not often) to me. How to express this in correct tense and words. How to ask him about this. "Why you are talking sporadically to me?" is this correct ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

what does“ I've got some time on my hands” mean? [duplicate]

"My shift at work's kinda long, you know? It is -so I,ve usually got some time on my hands to, you know...whatever. Think, I guess."
1
vote
1answer
8k views

What is the meaning of `light my fire` in this sentence? [closed]

What is the meaning of light my fire in this sentence: You light my red fire. Hot white, and blue. American Flag? The context is the song On Our Way by Lana Del Rey: You, ooh-ooh-ooh You ...
9
votes
2answers
10k views

When talking of American money, what does “pennies” mean?

Time ago, I was talking with an American friend of mine. She was checking how much money she had and said "[…] a dime and four pennies." Since 100 cents make a dollar, why did she say pennies? Is ...
2
votes
1answer
392 views

Is “ceteris paribus” used in formal American English?

A question for American people (English people are welcomed as well but I guess their use of English is more formal): do you use ceteris paribus in some formal text? If not, what would be the best ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

“bag” vs “package”

In American English, would you say that chips, cookies, and candies are usually packed in bags or would you say they are packed in packages? I can't see much difference between a plastic bag and a ...
1
vote
1answer
328 views

American pronunciation of constituent

In this entry, is the American pronunciation (as written) correct? Is there any difference between British and American pronunciations?
0
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2answers
111 views

how can we use “literally”? [closed]

What does literally exactly mean? I am not so clear about its meaning, and I often get confused.
2
votes
1answer
223 views

Why do we pronounce “slurp” with ə, but “slump” with ʌ?

Why do we pronounce slurp as /sləːp/ or /slɜ:p/ (BrE) or /slɝ:p/ (AmE) (Cambridge Dictionary of Pronunciation), but slump as /slʌmp/? Is it because of the presence of R?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What to respond if someone knocks on the door when you are using the changing room?

When I am in the changing room, sometimes others knock on the door to check whether the room is empty. As a non-native English speaker, I am curious what do you respond in this case? I tried to say "...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Shadow vs Shade

Which of these two sentences is more used by people in the USA when talking about staying outside in the shadow/shade? "I am in the shadow and not in the sun." OR "I am in the shade and not in ...
2
votes
1answer
228 views

Is “blue road” an understood expression used to refer to particular roads?

I was watching a TV program about the USA when the speaker said proseguiamo nella scoperta delle strade blu ("let's continue in the discovery of blue roads"). I didn't follow the program since the ...
0
votes
1answer
374 views

Can these plural and singular forms be exchanged?

Do you work on Sundays? What do you usually do at the weekend? (Essential Grammar in Use) Can the plural and singular forms be exchanged like these? Do you work on the Sunday? What do you ...
5
votes
1answer
378 views

Can relative pronouns be omitted in some regions?

“I guess it was Cal asked Lee.” (Aron, born in California) . . . . . . “That’s a smell could raise me out of a concrete grave.” (Adam, born in Connecticut) (John Steinbeck, East of Eden) In the ‘...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Quoting a sentence containing a quote: Which quotation mark should I use?

In American English, the quotation mark normally used is the double quotation mark. Edema asked, "Am I an alliteration addict?" When quoting text, which quotation marks should I use? Single ...
0
votes
1answer
166 views

Punctuation inside quotes: Should I put the period inside quotes, if the sentence ends with a question mark or an exclamation point?

In American English, a period is not added at the end of a sentence if it ends with a quote whose last letter is a quotation mark or an exclamation point. Edema asked, "Am I an alliteration addict?"...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Describing stomach related common problems

I did some research on how common stomach related problems are described in English, and made some sentences. Would you please look at them and let me know are they all correct and sound natural to ...
9
votes
2answers
63k views

Visualization or visualisation

Both of them are used: visualization and visualisation. Visualisation is more commonly used in UK. But, visualization is more common in US. What is the history of this word? Which is officially ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it possible to be grammatically correct without using past perfect?

Can you guys please help with which verb tense to use when talking about numerous specific events? In the example below, I'm not quite sure if past perfect really is necessary. "She sent me a new ...
18
votes
3answers
6k views

When is using the past perfect tense not necessary?

Is it more natural to speak in simple past or past perfect when explaining past events to a friend? It seems like Americans use more simple past in everyday life than past perfect. I found this ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is “Do you know X?” natural English?

Native speakers of Japanese have the Japanese phrase "[X]を知っていますか?", which they often say in English as "Do you know [X]?". It means something like "Have you heard about [X]?" For example Do you ...
5
votes
1answer
19k views

What is commonly used to respond “howdy howdy” greetings?

When people greet us by 'howdy howdy', what is the best reply to it? Is it also used in British English?
11
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5answers
21k views

what does “dogs and cats” mean?

I have this sentence. It rains dogs and cats It makes me crazy because I didn't know the meaning of it, until someone told me that it means "it rains a lot." Now I have this sentence. If we ...
1
vote
2answers
671 views

Can I use “not only … but also” in this sentence?

Can I use "not only … but" in the following sentence? According to the host, it serves not only to protect the house from the danger of a robbery, but also to prohibit a bad spirit as well. Is ...
0
votes
1answer
417 views

TOEFL reading book

I want to ask you if you know any TOEFL book which has passage for TOEFL reading sections, just passages, I mean book maybe with millions pages but just passages.