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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30 views

“Fine and you” vs “Fine how about you?”

It always sounds weird to me when I hear people say "I'm fine AND you" when I ask how they're doing. It doesn't sound natural to me, and it isn't something I hear in the US every day. I hear it ...
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2answers
32 views

type of usage with finite clauses

I heard this song played on the radio. I heard this song (finite clause) So 'I heard this song' feels like it requires more information alone, but you could say it in speech or: I heard this song....
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2answers
521 views

“Grow out of clothes”

Is "grow out of clothes" used only for "kids who grow bigger and can't fit in their earlier clothes"? Or can it be used for anyone who has put on some weight(like adults). Like a lady says: I can'...
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6answers
7k views

Is “plugging out” electronic devices an American expression?

Are these valid in American English as opposed to "unplug". Plug out the charger from the wall. I plugged out my TV. I found my radio plugged out. I started hanging out with some guys ...
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2answers
284 views

She’s always on me

In a novel "Dead Beautiful " by Yvonne Woon a guy tells Renée about the lady who punished her: “Lynch loves watching people squirm. She’s always on me for having too much facial hair.” I couldn't ...
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3answers
81 views

Why “Your father just told me” would not be “Your father told me” without “just”

In Oscar a 1991 American slapstick crime comedy film directed by John Landis, I heard: "Your father just told me". Here answer was: native speaker often omit, here it is "has" Your father has just ...
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3answers
1k views

Why is “Reports” in the sentence below without the article “The”?

Why is "Reports" in sentence below without "The"? Reports are coming in that a train has crashed near Birmingham. This sentence is copied from the book How English Works by Michael Swam and ...
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1answer
26 views

“Going up” instead of “put up” [closed]

The posters are going up all over the town. Is "going up" used more commonly in this context? Or is this one more likely to be said: The poster are being put up all over the town. So which one ...
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1answer
37 views

Why does the dictionary explain that verbs begin with “to” ? what does “to” mean here?

Example: abandon to leave someone, especially someone you are responsible for what does "to" mean here?
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2answers
57 views

Do a subject at a university (is it used in AE as well?)

"Do a subject" means "studying a subject". But the Dictionaries said it is used in the UK. So my question is whether it is used in AE? So is this use common in America,is it used? Like: I did ...
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1answer
55 views

Make/score a goal (AmE)

What is more common in AE? He made a goal. He scored a goal. So is "made" or "score" used in soccer? I mean which one is more common?
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1answer
151 views

Drive in the wrong lane or wrong side

What is more common in America: You're driving in the wrong lane. Or You're driving on the wrong side (of the road) Here is the car driving in the wrong lane or on the wrong side? And what ...
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2answers
144 views

Mixing up British and American English

Is it acceptable nowadays to use both types of spelling in writing? I have a tendency to mix up American and British English. This is because most of the South Asians have learned English in two ...
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2answers
39 views

The battery is 34% charged(or is 34% ), the battery decreased by 4%

If the battery percentage indicator shows "34%", what will a natural way to express this idea? My phone's battery is 34%.. My phone's battery is 34% charged. Should "charge" be added in the ...
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1answer
44 views

Well,he's last or coming in last (while the race is still going on)

My Aunt called up to ask me where my cousin was in the race.(She couldn't come to see it). The race was still going on so I tell her his current position, so what should I use: He's first/second/...
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1answer
1k views

Difference between who are you? & who you are

I am in confused that When I ask to unknown person, then how to ask: Who are you? or Who you are.. Other examples: What is he doing? or what he is doing.. How are you? or how you are.. What is the ...
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1answer
33 views

How to know when is passive, when is an adjective?

In these two sentences "tired" is always adjective: I was tired. I have been tired. In these two sentences "told" is always part of the passive, perfect participle: I was told. I have been told. ...
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1answer
44 views

Are these common in America?

https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/talk-down [talk someone down] BRITISH to talk loudly so that other people cannot hear what someone is saying [talk someone down] INFORMAL ...
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1answer
24 views

When is that not dependent

Dependent clauses include clauses that may begin with that, who, whom, whose, which, where, when, and why. (Judy Hopkins -- Sentence Variety) That can begin a complete sentence though correct? It's ...
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1answer
33 views

Why grammarly.com did remove comma here “They have just discovered a new fuel - it's half the price of petrol, and much cleaner.”

In "How English Works" page 172, 16 "They have just discovered a new fuel - it's half the price of petrol, and much cleaner." Why grammarly.com remove comma after petrol: "They have just discovered a ...
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2answers
513 views

What is correct “Your father just told me” or “Your father has just told me.”

In Oscar a 1991 American slapstick crime comedy film directed by John Landis, I heard: "Your father just told me". Why do not correct to say "Your father has just told me."? Because in "How English ...
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1answer
29 views

Put money on (mutual funds,health insurance etc) to mean invest

Is it natural to say: I put some money on mutual funds. I put some money on health insurance.(or any other insurance) Is the use of "put some money on" natural? Like: I invested in mutual ...
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3answers
4k views

Why do we use the plural of movies in this phrase “We went to the movies last night.”?

I found this sentence: We went to the movies last night. at the following URL: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/movies Why do they use the plural "movies", why not use the ...
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1answer
59 views

How can I improve my pronunciation of the flap t sound?

I am a non native speaker from Europe (my native language is Slovenian) and I'm trying to improve my English accent and pronunciation but I'm struggling with the flap t sound. I can pronounce it in ...
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1answer
81 views

Why I understand A.J.Hoge 100% but CNN 20% only?

I am no native speaker. I have been reading an English book lot since 1970. Last 3.5 years I have been listening to A.J.Hoge and CNN. I have understood A.J. Hoge from the beginning and today I ...
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1answer
51 views

I need to make my sentence sound like slang [closed]

I have a line "Turn on your iPod. We're about to get on the road." (Guy is talking with his passenger in a car), so I need to make it more like slang, maybe a bit rough. The point is that the other ...
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4answers
9k views

What is the difference between “behavior” and “behaviour”?

In the online version of Cambridge Dictionary, there are these definitions for the next two words: Behaviour = the way that someone behaves Behavior = a particular way of acting What would be ...
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0answers
54 views

“England (have/has) been the weaker side…”? [duplicate]

It is written in the online Cambridge Dictionary: England have definitely been the weaker side in the first half of the game. While Grammarly.com corrected the sentence to: England has ...
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1answer
52 views

Meanings of “back up” in American English

The Macmillan Dictionary entry for back up reads [intransitive/transitive] if traffic backs up, or if it is backed up, the vehicles are in a long line and waiting to continue moving ...
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1answer
19 views

What is the correct verb to use, is or was

What is the correct verb to use My approved OT for the month of Feb is 127.5 hours, but only 8.5 hours was creditted last night, 119 hours unpaid. The situation is one of our workmate's Overtime ...
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1answer
514 views

“Spoil” vs “Ruin”

My question is, Can you spoil a moment? for example, let's say I bring home a gift for my girlfriend and she's very excited to know what's in the box, after I open up the box and show her what it is, ...
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2answers
57 views

Difference between 'I got it' and 'you got it'?

Logically, 'I got it' should mean 'I understand you'. But in many conversations I heard people say you got it and based on the context it seems they want to say 'I understood'. I am confused when I ...
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1answer
26 views

“In the Moroccan way” vs “On the Moroccan way”

I have a question about prepositions. I'm not sure whether I should have a preposition before the word way in the following two sentences: The soup was made in the Moroccan way. The soup was ...
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2answers
370 views

Pass the time or kill time

Which phrase is more common in AmE: What do you do to kill time? What do you do to pass the time? Are both of them equally common?
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1answer
38 views

Reflexive pronoun vs pronoun

Which one is correct? He engraved photos of himself and his wife on the coins. Or He engraved photos of him and his wife on the coins.
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1answer
42 views

Down to someone (is it used in AmE?)

According to the Cambridge Dictionary be down to sb It's down to me to find a suitable person for the job. Is it's down to me commonly used in casual conversations? Like: It's down to me to ...
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1answer
982 views

What does ‘towards the end of the week’ exactly mean?

If someone says to me that I can call her towards the end of the week, what does it exactly mean? Should I... call her anytime from now until the end of the week? not call her until nearly the end ...
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2answers
15 views

correct usage with paragraphs

The next car to test was the Dodge Challenger. This vehicle was excellent to drive, and it had great handling. However, the interior was dated, and it had cosmetic faults, but these could be rectified ...
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1answer
207 views

Plural of school subject

What is the plural of "school subject"? Is "school subject" also common in American English?
3
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1answer
93 views

Before I'm up(before it's my turn, it'll be your turn next(you're up next)

A person is waiting outside a shop in a queue(a very famous shop) get the famous shop to get the world famous sweets. So he says: 1.They shouldn't run out of sweets before I'm up. 2.They ...
2
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1answer
23 views

Work out at/come out at

Do the phrasal verbs in the title only mean "to add up"? Or can they mean "any mathematical calculation"? Like: This price works out at(comes out at) $30 per week. Or should it only be: The ...
3
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2answers
424 views

What's the meaning of “mellow mama”?

What's the meaning of "mellow mama" in this description? I found this expression in a recipe book, but I don't understand what it means: Pulling from the inspiration of a green goddess dressing, ...
2
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2answers
28 views

Prefer to vs prefer than

Which one is correct, explain with reasons. 'He prefers to watch hollywood movies because they have good stories' or 'He prefers watching Hollywood movies because they have good stories'. Please also ...
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2answers
240 views

Take someone up on something

I had a question, Does "take someone up on something " mean only to accept an offer ? Can it mean to accept a suggestion In most of the dictionaries like Cambridge and Macmillan had this definition:...
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1answer
26 views

How to say in english something like this

When you talk about conditions, for example: I would rather have done something than ..... and someone tells you: You don't need to make such a choice. (you already are in a good position, so ...
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1answer
23 views

Among Vs between

I saw a sentence, "Between videos games, television, and the internet, kids these days are spoilt for choice when it comes to their entertainment". We can't use 'between' for more than two entities so ...
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1answer
28 views

Meaning of notch?

I'm quite a bit confused about the meaning of this word. I remember searching up this word or having seen something that indicates that "notch/notches" are marks (for example, the marks that are ...
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1answer
155 views

Hire and take on

"Take on" is an alternative for "hire". Like: We're not taking on any new staff at the moment. But this isn't my question. What I want to ask is can "take on" be used as a common and natural ...
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1answer
983 views

It's a few weeks off/away

If something is just going to happen,is it common to use "off"? Like: It's just a few weeks off.( Like something, well anything could be used instead of "it's " ,to mean that thing is just a ...
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1answer
130 views

Meaning of 'Have you ever been a student at XX university'?

I am required to fill in a form. One of the questions is 'Have you ever been a student at AAA university?' I am currently enrolled at AAA university but before this enrollment I wasn't a student of ...

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