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.

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Different ways of saying dates in US English

This question is about the stylistic differences between certain expressions in American English. When one has to say a date out loud, there are 4 possibilities in US English. "Month + ordinal&...
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When are words like "that" and "the" unnecessary?

There are several cases where "the" and "that" are completely unnecessary for the understanding of a sentence. So, I want to know when they are unnecessary and why. For instance, in “She told me that ...
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Can I use the definite article 'the' in this sentence?

I've just read a scientific article. And I am wondering about the use of articles. The given sentence is, Now, three teams of researchers have demonstrated the ability to perform secure quantum ...
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needs some work doing/done

The following is an example sentence from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English: As you can see, the house needs some work doing on it. source It seems that many native speakers prefer &...
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Can we pronounce “can” as /kən/ at the beginning of a sentence?

I know that “can” can be reduced to /kən/ unless it has to be stressed. For example in a sentence like “I believe I can fly” we can say /kən/ instead of /kæn/. My question is, can we do the same thing ...
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Is saying your voice is not audible correct?

Is this sentence correct? Your voice is not audible or you are not audible or are both of them are correct?
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Spun it on me (AmE)

A group of friends is talking, and one of them says she is leaving the town for good. The rest show how sad they are and, after their affectionate words, the girl saying good-bye replies: Well, you ...
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I don't get how native English speakers can understand what the woman in the video is saying

as a non-native English speaker who is studying English, I have a serious question. Please check out a 3 sec of movie clip below. https://youtu.be/5FOv4WWGSK8 The subtitle says "(daughter:)What ...
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Is it correct to use "reach out about" in a sentence?

The headline is: As mayhem persisted at Kabul’s airport, the Taliban reached out to a former Afghan president about a new government. The way I think it's supossed to be is: "reach out to a ...
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Does /eɪ/ sound make a slight 'y' sound in the word "DAY"?

I am really confused with this sound /eɪ/ It seems that it has a /j/ or 'aaaay' sound when it is at the end of the word like: Day - /deɪ/ pray - /preɪ/ Also with words like Played Some people (non-...
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Is there a difference between "had you.." and "if you had.."?

Can you please explain if there is any difference between below 2 sentences? You could have easily found water had you put all your efforts in one place. You could have easily found water if you had ...
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What is the correct sentence?

1)Is there any way to check whether my letter has been received? 2)Is there any way to check whether my letter was received? 3)Is there any way to check if my letter was received? I sent a letter a ...
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Can we start a question with pronouns?

Starting questions with pronouns Forex. "I have to do this assignment in my notebook or on my computer?" Can we write a question like this or it is incorrect?
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1 answer
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What about you or how about you

I was wondering, if we want to ask someone their answer on something in this kind of context below: A: How did you feel after graduating from high school? B: To be honest, I felt nothing. It was not ...
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Meaning of 'All-out brawl'?

I know the meaning of 'brawl'.But what does this phrase 'all-out brawl' mean? Thanks in Advance.
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"Do you got anything?" vs. "Do you have anything?"

Is there a nuance of difference when someone asks do you got anything for me? as opposed to do you have anything for me? I am aware that the former isn't really grammatically correct, but that's what ...
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How to pronounce consonants especially /t/ on following scenarios of American English?

Scenarios ————————- Do we release the sound of all consonants that appear at the end of the word ending a sentence ? Eg: I am at work. There was a Big Bang. I have a new hope. He has a big heart. ...
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She's gone now, so you'll have to wait

I know that this question sounds really bizarre. This is a situation I once witnessed. There's just one restroom. There are three girls there. Two girls are waiting their turn. One of them leaves ...
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"It is done" what is the sentence structure?

It is done Is "done" in the above sentence an adjunctive or a verb? Or is it a simple past tense in passive form. If so why "is" is used. Please clarify what is the structure of the sentence. This ...
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568 views

How do you make the flap t sound as in the words city and letter

I'm having a hard time figuring out the right placement and motions of the tongue when making this consonant. I watched a few videos on this topic. People say that in order to make the sound you don't ...
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"of" vs. "from" in introductions with company affiliations

A person who owns a business called BBB Cupcakes is making a tutorial video for a for-fee e-learning platform. The hour-long video is purely a cupcake making lesson; it's not directly an advertisement ...
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1 answer
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context of a phrase in a sentence

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/89892/clause-vs-phrase-vs-sentence A phrase cannot be used as a stand-alone utterance, e.g. "reading a book" is a phrase. However, with proper intonation ...
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Which is more natural English: "I don't know what the cause is" or "I don't know what is the cause"?

I don't know what the cause is. I don't know what is the cause. and do you have any difference between these sentences. if you have, could you explain it. e.g. 1) is for writing, 2) is for speaking
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1 answer
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What do you have to say for yourself? / What have you got to say for yourself?

Which of below is American and which is British English when you want someone to explain themselves? What do you have to say for yourself? What have you got to say for yourself?
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Why five day and not five days?

Why here is "five day": I follow the Effortless English five day training method. and why here is "five days": I practice every unit for at least five days.
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"both per " or "each per"?

If one object costs both of another object, it makes sense to say both X per Y. If an object costs each of two other objects, then does each X per Y mean that it costs one of the other two or does it ...
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34 views

identifying words and phrases

Have had a hard time deciphering some words/phrases in a podcast. So i'd like to share one part that I found to be difficult, at least, for me. https://voca.ro/1omVsJqG4SuY Normally I hear it like &...
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Meaning of `To move through these moments`

To move through these moments I have heard this line on CNN USA. And the person was talking about a difficult time in a family and what needs to be done to move through these moments. I couldn't find ...
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3 answers
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What is the difference between “have met” vs “had met”

Example: I met this person once at a meeting a year ago, today I am meeting with him again. Should I say: We have met a year ago. Or We had met a year ago.
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2 answers
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Using concise words like unsure for longer sentences

Which is better English: I am not entirely sure about this. I am unsure. I am unsure about this. In the 2 and 3, using the word unsure has made the sentence relatively concise. However, is it always ...
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1 answer
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Different ways of using - short of money

I have seen the following sentences to express that I have less money: I am a little short of money I am short of money I am somewhat short of money I am not sure what the difference is between the ...
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How to ask if there is a leave

On monday, the company is off? I guess this doesn't seem right in English. What I want to convey is there is an official holiday on Monday. How can I do that?
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Burn a fire or light a fire?

Light a candle or burn a candle says "Light a candle" and "burn a candle" are both grammartically OK. In the dictionary I see "light a fire". Then is "burn a fire&...
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1 answer
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How many grammatical categories/constructs do English language have

I have come across various constructs in English grammar/language like Noun, adjective, adverb, verb, preposition, article,...How many are there in total and do they have a special name like ...
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2 answers
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In a sentence with double negatives, how do I tell if I'm allowed to cancel them out or not?

Asking this because I'm worried that canceling out double negatives can completely change the original meaning of the sentence. I know context and the speaker/writer's intent are also important but is ...
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What kind of question would questions that start with (and why is/should/does/would) in response to a statement, explanation, or declarative?

What kind of question would questions that start with (and why is/should/does/would) be in response to a statement, explanation, or declarative. What is the function of the "And" part and ...
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1 answer
82 views

Is "I hope I was of good help" idiomatic in English?

I was talking to a friend and I wanted to say something like: "I hope I was of (good/any) help." The phrase "be of help" is used in expressions like "How can I be of help?&...
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Original with me

There are many ideas in this book which are, to the best of my knowledge, original with me. A favorite technique, original with him, he called "word-count." I do not know whether this ...
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What is the semantic behind "all thing something" like in "all thing pet"?

I came across "all thing pet" myself in my country although it is not a native english speaking Nation and also there is a Church Song: "All things bright and beautiful" What I ...
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do theses phrases really differ?

unfortunately I have no context to provide, But as a learner I've been thinking a lot about adjective positions and trying to understand its usage. One case sticks to mind: "a divided house"...
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42 views

Is there a special role in the word "out" in this sentence/phrase?

In the phrase/setence: "I can buy out of the back of a truck" I see the word "out" as an opitional in this sentence. I think the sentence would be clearer as: 1- "I can buy ...
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1 answer
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What is the grammatical function of the words "symptom" and "distress" in the following sentence: "...hoping for a reduction in symptom distress."

The full sentence: People enter therapy hoping for a reduction in symptom distress. Is "symptom distress" a noun+noun pattern or a noun+verb? Is it like the pattern "fight club", ...
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is "about English second language teaching and learning" grammatical?

I came across the following sentence fragment: [1] about English second language teaching and learning I found this sentence fragment hard to understand, so I'd like to rephrase it to be clearer. ...
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Comma after “viz.” in “viz.(,) that”?

Concerning the usage of “viz.” in American English, in ODO we find examples with and without the comma after “viz.” when a “that”-introduced clause follows: This leads many people towards the second, ...
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1 answer
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What is the definition of the following phrase?

the headline is: "Players and owners could keep negotiating, but with the sides still far apart, baseball has its first work stoppage since the 1994-95 strike." What is meant by "with ...
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Rewriting "Even the left hand doesn't need to know the tasks of right hand" to "... know the right's tasks"

The base sentence would be: Even the left hand doesn't need to know the tasks of right hand Can I rewrite this sentence, keeping the same gist and being grammatically acceptable, as: Even the left ...
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Is there any difference between theses two phrases?

Say I'm driving a car and a colleague of mine sit in passenger seat says: 1 - slow your speed or 2 - slow your speed down is there any difference between these two? isn't the "down" ...
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48 views

You could have told me that he had taken the taxi

"You could have told me that he had taken the taxi back home" Is this grammatically correct? By the way "had taken" is not used here as back shift of "has taken". "...
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"This is hitting me" (AmE)

I'm watching a show where a girl receives a text from a guy she really likes. When she tells it to her friend, she says: "Wow, this is hitting me", and I don't know how to interpret "...
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What do you call a person(employee) who follows instructions?

If you have a junior who has a positive quality of following instructions/orders, what would be the formal word for it?
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