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Questions tagged [colloquial-language]

for questions about colloquial language. Colloquial language, colloquial dialect, or informal language is a variety of language commonly employed in conversation or other communication in informal situations.

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27 views

How to understand “got a good bit of use out of them”

‘Fred and George have invented Extendable Ears, see,’ said Ron. ‘They're really useful.’ ‘Extendable—?’ ‘Ears, yeah. Only we've had to stop using them lately because Mum found out and went ...
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1answer
45 views

What does “only half kidding” mean in this context?

Almost immediately, she was lost in the labyrinth of works for sale: Takashi Murakami’s lurid blond plastic milkmaids with long legs and erect nipples; the words “any messages?” spelled out in neon ...
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1answer
16 views

“I am four or five in”

There is a scene in the movie Drinking Buddies where Gene and Luke are talking in a bar. Gene: I've been ten minutes out since I got here. I had one of these, and then I said, "I'm gonna have one ...
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2answers
44 views

“Good Night” / “Good Nights”

Is there an expression like "Good Nights" in spoken/written English that differs from "Good Night"? People who speak Spanish language use "Buenas Noches" which literally means "Good Nights". The same ...
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2answers
98 views

Formal way of thanking someone for pointing out a mistake

When a colleague points out a mistake you made, is it too formal to respond: "Thanks for alerting me to this mistake." What would be an alternative to "Thanks, my bad!"
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1answer
31 views

“Public speak” as a verb

Recently I saw a clip advertising a Canadian library by all sorts of fun actions they do instead of offering people books to read: from shoelace-tying workshops to seminars where people are taught "...
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2answers
76 views

Are contractions and/or slang used in English exams and tests? [closed]

Are all those correct uses in English or is it just for explaining and not correct for writing on tests or exams? Would it sound more fluent to write Ex, Y'all, I'll, They're. instead of ...
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2answers
23 views

Is “transferring data” used when talking about people?

I know that "data" and "transfer" are used when talking about technology and things like that. My question is when talking about people learning new things, can I use the words "data" and "transfer" ...
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3answers
7k views

What does “my name was down for Eton” mean?

My name was down for Eton, you know, I can't tell you how glad I am I came here instead. Of course, Mother was slightly disappointed, but since I made her read Lockhart's books I think she has begun ...
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1answer
30 views

“Better go home” vs “better to go home”

Do both mean the same? Or maybe one version is correct and the other one is incorrect? Example sentence: It's getting late. Better (to) go home. (This is colloquial speech.) Another similar ...
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2answers
59 views

What do you call the digital displays that show the stations inside subway trains?

I'm talking about this: The text in the photo says "digital voice announcement." But I wonder if there's another way of referring to this piece of technology. Something like digital announcement or ...
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2answers
33 views

Can “it's” be omitted in the following case? [duplicate]

She wriggles herself closer to me. (It's) Definitely not my imagination playing a prank on me. I wonder if you can omit "it's" in situations like these (at least in informal writing). I checked ...
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1answer
60 views

What does it mean by “reach for a banana”?

In this video one of the panel said "he is reaching for a banana" after seeing the robot got down on the desk. I thought this would be an idiom or some phrase that would be found in the urban ...
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3answers
62 views

Is there a word “Pisser” in English gambling?

I have happened to see a Japanese anime, which is about a natural born gambler, (with English subtitles) And they (The honcho group and other "workers") are gambling dices. From 22:51 ~ The honcho ...
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1answer
47 views

An expression meaning doing long and hard mental work resulting in extreme mental fatigue

There's an idiom "work one's fingers to the bone" literally linked to manual labor, and I am looking for the like colloquial, idiomatic or slang expression referring to hard mental work. The one that ...
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3answers
45 views

“Cook” vs “cook up” (when not referring to food)

Example sentence: Staring at her suspiciously, he asked, "What are you planning to cook up? A native English speaker said I should add the "up," but another one said I shouldn't. So I'm a bit ...
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1answer
1k views

What does “there's no way around” mean? [closed]

Excerpt from Game Of Thrones, season 7, the unexpected, secret meeting of Lannister brothers: Tyrion and Jaime Lannister. Tyrion: Danaerys will win this war, you are (referring to Jaime) a military ...
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2answers
147 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 ...
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2answers
60 views

Can I just say “Watch” instead of “Watch where you are going”?

Can we just say "Watch." instead of "Watch where you are going."? Example Context: Let's say somebody hit me on the sidewalk. Note: I know that it can be rude to say these sentences. You don't need ...
2
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1answer
72 views

Is it OK to use “heck” in public occasions?

The dictionary gives the following definitions: fuck: to have sex with someone. used when expressing extreme anger, or to add force to what is being said. heck: an expression of usually slight ...
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1answer
28 views

Is the following use of “as sure as in …” correct?

As sure as in "this place surely stinks." Is the construction and usage correct? I'm having doubts since the "example" is using a modified version of "sure." But maybe that's okay?
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3answers
47 views

Should I say “providing me charity,” “providing me with charity,” or “providing charity to me?”

I'm confused because there's exactly 1 hit for each on them on Google Books. ... providing me charity ... providing me with charity ... providing charity to me What's the correct option? Or at ...
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1answer
35 views

Is it common to say “…, you forget?” instead of “…, did you forget?”

Example sentence: It's your fault, (did) you forget? A native English speaker said I should add the "did." But I think "you forget" is okay in casual speech. However, I'm not very sure.
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2answers
397 views

What's the meaning of “Dad had damned near taken someone’s head off”?

I checked the idiom "take someone's head off" in three online dictionaries: TFD, Phrases.net, and Wiktionary and it means: "to scold or berate someone severely." But I still don't understand the ...
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1answer
35 views

What's pharse is common? “Just to entertain this …” or “just for the sake of entertaining this …”?

Which is more common? Or maybe they mean exactly the same so both are equally common? Example sentence: Just to entertain/just for the sake of entertaining the fantasy of traveling to another ...
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1answer
42 views

Is “Last time we were in a house was five weeks” a common colloquialism?

There a scene in the movie Red Dawn: A group of teenagers come to a house and are welcomed in by the owner. One of the teenagers: Last time we were in a house was five weeks. Man: You look it....
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11answers
2k views

A term for a situation when something illegal, unjust, immoral and socially unacceptable becomes a standard pattern of an individual's behavior

When I was a teen, in a summer camp we enjoyed a sort of game that we played during so-called naptime after the midday meal. Split into pairs, the boys decided who would be horses and who horsemen, ...
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2answers
40 views

What the rule for these questions without any subject at all?

Expressions and sources: Why pretend? (Depeche mode 'Little 15') Why so serious? (Joker 'Dark knight') Why make sense? (Hot Chip 'Why make sense') Who to be? (Whitey 'Who to be?') Why try? (Limp ...
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2answers
750 views

Is “It's got better now” grammatical?

sentence: "It wasn't going well at first, but it's got better now" Something feels wrong with it, but it's like, I've heard people use it or something like it before, so I'm not sure if it's ...
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4answers
811 views

“I always make grammatical errors” VERSUS “I'm always making grammatical errors” what is the difference?

I'm brushing up on my grammar using Cambridge's English Grammar in Use, and in the present continuous and present simple unit, it mentioned when to use "always do" and "always doing". I never picked ...
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2answers
63 views

use of the verb NAG in reference to pain, discomfort

As a native speaker, I know that persistent pain can be described as nagging, as in nagging back pain. However, would it be correct/idiomatic for a doctor, for example, to ask a patient How long has ...
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1answer
54 views

Not stopping at a STOP sign

Is there a street verb or an idiomatic saying that's used to say that a vehicle passed the (red traffic) light or a STOP sign without stopping?
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1answer
24 views

Is “We'll see” an okay sentence to close a conversation?

When I was talking to a native American English speaker, he seemed to use this sentence "we'll see", if I am not mistaken, to signal a closure of our conversation. The conversation was amusing, no ...
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3answers
651 views

Expressions used to boost someone's energy/enthusiasm in doing their work

Suppose you see someone you set to doing something are doing it half-heartedly, without much if any enthusiasm. What could be the expressions to boost their energy/enthusiasm? Searching for the ...
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3answers
165 views

Do native speakers say 'get on' instead of 'continue'?

Today I was talking about something important with our manager, but then another guy came and interrupted our conversation. As soon as that guy finished talking and went away, I said 'Let's continue' ...
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8answers
16k views

Why do native speakers say 'Come on in' rather than 'Come in'?

Today I passed by a restaurant and got attracted to its menu sticking on the window, so I stopped and had a look at it. Then a staff standing at the gate said to me,'We have nice food. Come on in!' I ...
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1answer
42 views

“Finish off” or “finish off before”?

Let's say you are READING AT THE MOMENT, but you are PLANNING TO PLAY a computer game (Starcraft). 1) 'I just have to finish this article off first before I play Starcraft. Or 2) 'I just have ...
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2answers
86 views

“With whom who” vs “Who with whom”, a split preposition, and a phrase request for a seemingly strange way of dating among some teenagers

Context: Pete likes Jane and Anne. His friend Jack (all the four in their early teens), too, likes both the girls who, in their turns, like both the boys. To get sure which of the two possible pairs ...
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2answers
266 views

I didn't do nothing or anything

Usually when I want to deny something I will say I didn't do anything However, lately I watched some movies in which the people sometimes said I didn't do nothing They use no instead of any, like ...
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1answer
36 views

What is the connotation of “up” in phrases like “eat up” and “wait up”?

What do you feel "up" in "eat up" and "wait up" indicates? Does it sound like "be quick" (eat up) or "I'll be quick" (wait up)?
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1answer
173 views

Ever vs Never, where to put them and which is better to use

I've a symple question with when to use ever and never. For example in the following two senteces, which it's grammatically better we'll teach them that they won't be able to mess with him, ever ...
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1answer
36 views

“never mind…” or “forget…”

I have an expression crossing my head but I cannot find any reference on the Internet. I only found "never mind" in the dictionary. I'm talking about "forget". E.g. "I've never visited Paris, ...
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1answer
38 views

Similar phrases to a “situation close to life”?

In Czech, when we talk about a scene in a book/movie that reminds us of our own lives, we say it is very "from life" (ze života). What are the ways to express such feeling in English?
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1answer
192 views

Is it grammatical/common to put “are” after the subject in questions?

Example: Which one are we watching? Which one we're watching? Is it common to do this? Sometimes I see it, but many native English speakers tell me that I should add the are.
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2answers
179 views

Referring to oneselves in plural

I am originally from Poland, but am living in the UK for a long while now. One of the first "thing" that struck me after my arrival, is that some of the people are referring to themselves in plural ...
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1answer
172 views

questions to ask someone's outside appearances

In some situations like you lost your friend in the crowd or you ask about a new friend who you're going to meet later in a party, we would ask a question to know their appearances (i.e. height, ...
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1answer
146 views

Is “Suppose you did …” guessing that 'you' already did?

571 suppose, supposing and what if (...) A past tense makes the suggestion sound less definite. Daddy, can I watch TV? ~ Suppose you did your homework first. M. Swan, Practical ...
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1answer
45 views

English usage: “Are we done?” and “He is gone” [closed]

"Are we done ? " He is gone I used to hear the above sentences from some of English speaking acquaintances. I was wondering whether theses sentences are grammatically correct or poeple are speaking ...
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1answer
1k views

Is the sentence 'Tom said he hadn't got any money' reported speech from 'Tom said, “I haven't got any money”'?

I came across this pair of sentences in 'Cambridge English Preliminary for Schools Trainer' by Sue Elliott and Liz Gallivan CUP 2012: Tom said he hadn't got any money. Tom said, 'I haven't got any ...
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1answer
80 views

Is “basically” work as a filler? Is this a new trend?

Here in Sydney, I hear "basically" a lot. But it seems to add no thing to the meaning and is used in an unnecessary way. Am I correct? Is it a filler to give some time to think? In written English, ...